Israeli court denies Gaza students access to West Bank universities

Students at a university in the northern West Bank city Tulkarem.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s High Court this week refused a petition to allow five female students from Gaza to study in the West Bank, a human rights group said Thursday.

The judges accepted the Israeli state’s argument that they are not obligated to permit Palestinians in Gaza to study in the West Bank, reaffirming a 12-year ban, Israeli rights group Gisha said.

“Despite the split in the Palestinian government, Gaza and the West Bank still constitute a single territorial unit, where people maintain countless familial, economic and educational ties, and where Israel is obligated to allow travel, subject only to individual security checks, Legal Director Nomi Heger said.

Issam Younis, the director of Gaza’s Al Mezan Center, which also took part in the petition, called the decision a continuation of Israel’s “collective punishment” against residents of the Gaza Strip.

“Israel’s insistence on not allowing the students to reach their studies violates their right to freedom of movement and to access higher education at the Palestinian institutions established for their benefit,” he said.

Israel introduced a blanket ban on Palestinians from Gaza studying in the West Bank in 2000, following the outbreak of the second intifada.

Four of the students in the case had begun studying gender studies and human rights and democracy at Birzeit University before the ban was introduced. They forced were to leave without completing the masters program, which is not available in Gaza’s universities. The fifth petitioner wanted to pursue a law degree at Birzeit.

( / 27.09.2012)

Political leaders react to Abbas speech at UN

Men watch a televised broadcast of President Mahmoud Abbas’ address at the 67th United Nations General Assembly, at a coffee shop in the West Bank city of Ramallah Sept. 27, 2012.

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Political leaders jumped to both congratulate and criticize President Mahmoud Abbas’ address to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, where he told delegates he would seek a membership upgrade.

“We were waiting for something new and we have not heard anything,” Yousef Abu Rizqa, an adviser to Hamas premier Ismail Haniyeh, told Ma’an. Each of the points in Abbas’ speech had been mentioned before, he said.

“Despite all the complexities of the prevailing reality and all the frustrations that abound, we say before the international community there is still a chance – maybe the last – to save the two-state solution and to salvage peace,” Abbas told the delegates in New York.

He said “intensive consultations” were underway with UN members to secure a vote on Palestine being granted the status of ‘observer state’ before the end of the assembly’s current session, “in order to enhance the chances for peace.”

Abu Rizqa criticized the president’s stance in favor of popular and peaceful resistance to Israeli occupation.

While popular action “is a useful type of resistance, it doesn’t liberate the land because countries who were liberated have used several methods … I think Abbas weakened the Palestinian position and himself as a negotiator in this case,” he said.

“I was expecting the president to bring up reasonable and real solutions, but instead he held up to the two state solution and negotiations,” the official continued.

Meanwhile, the Hamas government spokesman Taher al-Nunu called Abbas’ speech desperate, and said it reflects the failure of his political plan.

“We are surprised that he is determined to continue the absurd negotiations,” he told Ma’an.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said it considered Abbas’ speech an announcement of the failure of the “delusions” of negotiations.

In a statement, the party called for leaders to ask the UN and its agencies to take real decisions which will help the Palestinian cause “instead of waiting and betting for the success or failure of these negotiations.”


Meanwhile, the president’s Fatah party called the speech “historic” and said the leader had clarified to the world its responsibilities to the Palestinian people.

“We consider Abbas’ speech to be a letter from the Palestinian people … we confirm that the people are angry because of the occupation and angry with those who are silent about it, and that it is our people’s right to put an end to their suffering,” Fatah spokesman Fayez Abu Aita said in a statement.

The Palestinian People’s Party also praised the president’s address, saying it “expressed the determination of the Palestinian people to achieve their national legal rights and it reflected the dignity of the people.”

PPP spokesman Walid Al-Awad said: “I think that the message reached the UN, and it became a trial of the Israeli occupation’s attacks on the Palestinian people.”

However he called for the speech to be followed up with practical actions, suggesting leaders meet “to redraw the foundations of the political process between the Palestinian people and the Israeli occupation, and to set up a Palestinian road map to invest this international effort and to reestablish Palestinian institutions.”

( / 27.09.2012)

Al-Ramahi: PA has to protect citizens or let the resistance do so

RAMALLAH,(PIC)– The Secretary-General of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr Mahmoud Al-Ramahi, denounced the assault on three Palestinian citizens by Israeli gangs near Ramallah yesterday.

Al-Ramahi stressed that there is no deterrent to these gangs that aim to terrorize and displace the citizens from their homes in order to seize them.

The increasing settlers’ attacks are caused by the PA constant pressure on the resistance in the West Bank, preventing them from struggling against the occupation, al-Ramahi said in a press statement on Wednesday.

Ramahi said that the PA should be protecting the Palestinian people from settlers’ attacks, or release resistance to do so.

The international community is involved in these crimes against the Palestinians by its silence towards the continued Israeli attacks and by its support to the Israeli government politically, economically and militarily, he stated, expressing his surprise at the international attitude against the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip and silence towards settlers’ attacks in the West Bank.

( / 27.09.2012)

Palestinian minister: Israel defying hunger strike deal

Palestinian youths throw stones towards Israeli border police (not seen) in the Shuafat refugee camp in the West Bank near Jerusalem September 18, 2012. Clashes between police and protesters erupted following a protest against a film mocking the Prophet Mohammad.

Several Palestinians in Israeli prisons suffer from life-threatening health conditions as Israel continues to defy a deal struck with hunger strikers earlier this year, Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe told official radio station Voice of Palestine Thursday.

“Israeli jailers are creating suffocating conditions for Palestinian prisoners,” said Qaraqe.

Israel “breached all terms of the accord” where Israel promised to improve prison conditions in order to end a wide-scale hunger strike, he added, with some inmates having been forbidden family visits for more than six years, and others enduring sickness without receiving needed treatment.

Thousands of Palestinian prisoners went on hunger strike for four weeks in April, demanding an end to the tyrannical practice of administrative detentions, which involves detaining Palestinians without trial and for an indefinite period. Prisoners do not maintain the right to know about the charges leveled against them under this law.

The strike ended after Israel pledged to ease prison conditions, ending solitary confinement for 19 prisoners and lifting a ban on visits to prisoners by relatives living in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Israel also agreed to improve detention conditions and to free administrative detainees once prison terms are complete, or to take them to court.

There was no promise of ending administrative detention, and several prisoners have pressed on with the strike suffering serious damage to their health.

On Tuesday rights groups said hunger striker Ayman Sharawna had become nearly blind and is enduring severe kidney problems and partial memory loss after 88 days without food.

Sharawna has refused water since Israeli authorities refused to release him five days ago, a lawyer for the prisoner rights group Addameer said.

The Israeli Prison Service has denied Sharawna medical treatment, insisting he could only receive medication for severe back pain, Addameer said in a statement.

Shawarna, a father of nine, is being held without charge. He was rearrested on January 31 for unknown reasons after his release in the October 2011 prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas. He had previously spent a decade in Israeli prisons.

Rearrests of prisoners released in the Hamas-Israel prisoner swap violates amnesty granted to detainees by that deal.

A number of human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have called on Israel end administrative detention, calling the practice a violation of international human rights law and humanitarian law.

Early Thursday, Israeli forces raided a refugee camp east of Nablus and arrested a Palestinian teenager.

Locals identified the detainee from Balata camp as Abdullah Salameh, 16.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the arrest, and added that another Palestinian had also been detained in a raid in the Ramallah area.

( / 27.09.2012)

How AIPAC transfers Americans’ money into Israel’s military

AIPAC-Drafted US Aid to Israel Illegal

Israel’s nuclear weapons render it ineligible for US aid

The Israel lobby’s biggest and longest-running Washington boondoggles are the massive annual weapons and economic packages to Israel. Tightly coordinated campaign contributors (both individuals and political action committees) and the Israeli government’s own quiet demands manifest themselves within AIPAC-drafted foreign aid legislation. The U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 forces Americans to fork hard-earned tax dollars over to Israel’s coffers on the pretext that it is in eminent danger. Yet declassified documents reveal that even the current prime minister once worked inside the state’s clandestine nuclear arms smuggling rings. Transferring foreign aid to the Middle East’s sole nuclear weapons state — which can obviously take care of itself — is not just unseemly and unnecessary. It is illegal.

AIPAC’s publicly available tax return reveals it has now become as seamlessly linked to its foreign principal as its parent organization — the American Zionist Council — was when it was finally ordered by the Kennedy administration to openly register as an Israeli foreign agent in 1962. AIPAC spent $1,541,572 maintaining its Jerusalem office. The office, led by Wendy Senor Singer,* is described as the official location for daily meetings with senior Israeli government officials. It is also used to coordinate the visits of supplicant U.S. politicians with funding from a mysterious captive charity, [The American Israel Education Foundation], of no employees claiming to be an educational organization [pdf]. The Israeli government’s desires are seamlessly transcribed into legislation at AIPAC’s headquarters in Washington — raising the perennial question why AIPAC is not registering as Israel’s foreign agent.

In relation to the sheer volume of American taxpayer dollars it transfers to Israel, on paper AIPAC is a rather thinly-funded and top-heavy organization. In its latest schedule of contributors, filed in late April and just obtained by special request from the IRS, AIPAC reported that only 1,949 individual contributors provided 61% of its $64 million in total contributions and grants.** The top-tier donors each gave on average $20,206, with the top donor chipping in an impressive $6,610,181. Although contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations [tax-exempt non-profit] like AIPAC are not tax-deductible, corporations and partnerships can write off contributions as a business expense. One AIPAC donor, an attorney in New York City whose confidential data the IRS didn’t successfully scrub, presumably paid AIPAC with funds from his law partnership, which AIPAC listed as the contributor’s address.

AIPAC claims in mandatory disclosures filed with the clerk of the House of Representatives over the same time period that it spent approximately 4% of its total budget on actual lobbying. AIPAC’s core lobbying mission hasn’t changed much since AIPAC’s founder left his Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs  post in New York in 1951. Isaiah Kenen’s mission was to obtain U.S.-taxpayer-funded weapons and aid by lobbying from a Jewish Agency funded front group  of “concerned Americans” rather than working openly as Israel’s officially registered foreign agent. In Kenen’s day, Israel first obtained massive amounts of surplus WWII conventional weapons simply by stealing or purchasing [pdf] them to be scrapped and instead smuggling them from the United States in violation of the Arms Export Control and Neutrality Acts. The smuggling networks were established and funded by small numbers of wealthy Zionists who were curiously immune from criminal prosecution. When less enfranchised citizens later demanded warranted prosecutions, the Justice Department simply ignored them, establishing a policy that has held fast to the present day.

The AIPAC-sponsored U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, signed into law by President Obama on July 27, 2012, makes unprecedented demands on U.S. taxpayers and diplomats. It mandates American economic largess to Israel via high technology, agriculture, medicine, health, pharmaceutical, and energy transfers. It demands funding for Israel Aerospace Industries (a corporation only linked to Israeli espionage activities against the U.S.) missile-defense programs and air-refueling tankers and munitions Israel could use to unilaterally set off a wider war with Iran. Israel even won a detour of used weapons from U.S. forces departing Iraq. The aid law extends already generous loan guarantees to Israel.

However, the package also requires the U.S. president to issue to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and House Committee on Foreign Affairs a report on the status of Israel’s “qualitative military edge” by Jan. 23, 2013. It is finally time for some hard truths. An honest presidential response to this AIPAC-mandated reporting rider would wipe clean all current and future U.S.-taxpayer-funded obligations to Israel. A truthful presidential assessment would finally tell the American people the following: “Israel has deployed a clandestine nuclear arsenal with some components and materials stolen from the United States. Our foreign aid laws therefore make Israel ineligible for further taxpayer dollars.”

Such a truthful declaration would turn the tables on AIPAC and its small group of donors now pushing Americans to steal from themselves by systematically violating the Symington and Glenn amendments to U.S. foreign aid laws. Ending aid would disentangle unwitting Americans from Israel’s unending conflicts, illegal settlements, systematized abuse of Palestinians, and clandestine nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.

**As reported in 2011, in previous years AIPAC filed contributor schedules with the IRS that improperly listed only two donor entries. After numerous complaints were made to the IRS, AIPAC has apparently been forced to again file proper schedules listing every contributor donating more than $5,000.

* Wendy Singer

Wendy Senor Singer is the Director of AIPAC’s Jerusalem Office.  In this capacity, she meets daily with senior Israeli government officials in order to assess political developments in Israel. She maintains contact with members of Israel’s opposition as well with independent analysts, pollsters, American diplomats stationed in Israel, and Palestinian representatives.

Ms. Singer and her colleagues coordinate the visits of several dozen Members of the House and Senate to Israel every year (on AIEF missions).

Prior to making aliya in October 1994, Wendy served for five years as a registered lobbyist for AIPAC on Capitol Hill.

Ms. Singer has five years of foreign policy experience on Capitol Hill – from 1987-1990 as Foreign Policy Advisor to Congressman Henry Waxman, a California Democrat.  Prior to that, she worked in the Senate – first for Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, and then for Senator Carl Levin of Michigan.

She is a graduate of Brandeis University and today lives in Jerusalem with her husband and three daughters

( / 27.09.2012)

Jewish settlers divert waste water onto Palestinian farms

Jewish settlers have diverted their waste water onto Palestinian-owned farms, damaging crops in the process. The incident took place in the village of Fokeen to the west of Bethlehem.

According to the head of the village council, Ahmed Sokkar, the settlers of Bitar Elite settlement repeated the action several times. Apart from damaging the crops and wasting farmers’ time, Sokkar pointed out that it also has a serious negative effect on the environment.

Palestinian residents and human rights organisations claim that these and similarly destructive actions take place across the occupied West Bank on an almost daily basis. Last week, for example, wild pigs were let loose from illegal settlements around Jenin and damaged Palestinian farms, while other settlers in the same area destroyed dozens of olive trees.

( / 27.09.2012)

Finance Minister Asks Donors to Help Build Up Area C in West Bank

NEW YORK, September 25. 2012 (WAFA) – Minister of Finance Nabeel Kassis asked the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting New York on Sunday to help the Palestinian Authority to reclaim area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli control.

In a report entitled “Moving Beyond the Status Quo: Safeguarding the Two-State Solution,” Kassis presented the Palestinian vision regarding the need to reclaim and develop the so-called Area C in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which makes up over 60% of the Palestinian Territory and is home to vital natural resources.

The report also includes an actionable plan that outlines measures the international community and Israel must take in order to preserve the foundations of the Palestinian state.

“Developing Area C is necessary, not only because this area is important for the viability of the State of Palestine, but more so and primarily because this area is part and parcel of the Palestinian Territory and as such cannot and should not be excluded in any development effort,” said Kassis.

He also emphasized that the PA’s priorities in this regard are areas that affect lives and livelihoods, in particular health, education, employment, water, electricity and agriculture in addition to encouraging the private sector.

In his speech to the AHLC, Kassis emphasized, “the greater part of Palestinian lands is being gradually emptied of its Palestinian inhabitants in order to provide room for more colonization by Israel.”

He pointed to the fragmentation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory through the continuous expansion of illegal settlements and attached infrastructure, including the Wall, the continued Israeli policy of demolition of Palestinian homes water wells and fruit trees, land confiscation, and forced eviction of Palestinians from Area C and occupied East Jerusalem.

The Minister of Finance also warned that Israel’s permits policy “is strangling the economy and destabilizing the seed of the two-state solution.”

The Minister discussed the current fiscal crisis confronting the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). He affirmed that the crisis threatens the sustainability of the PA’s institutions and the integrity of its social fabric and communal well-being and sense of security, adding, “No doubt, if the status quo is allowed to persist, it will have dire consequences to the international enterprise of peace making in the Middle East.”

“We have been trying to get as close as possible to self-reliance in covering the recurrent budget. This goal could not be achieved and cannot be achieved as long as the occupation regime prevails and its restrictive measures continue,” said Kassis.

He added, “The PNA has been trying to narrow the deficit in its budget by cutting down on expenditures, implementing measures to enhance revenues, and supporting private sector activity,” measures he stressed enjoyed support from donors and local banks.

In the meantime, said Kassis, “continued financial support by the donor community, combined with sustained efforts by the PNA and necessarily augmented with tangible roll-back of Israeli occupation, is the only way out of the fiscal crisis.”

The minister also reiterated that despite this crisis, the international recognition of the Palestinians’ institutional readiness for statehood is still valid.

But he warned, “Unfortunately, equally valid is the conclusion regarding impediments to private sector activity and Palestinian economic development. Israeli restrictive measures which bar freedom of movement and access to all Palestinian areas, including East Jerusalem, are still preventing Palestinians from realizing their full development potential.”

Establishing a sovereign and viable independent Palestinian State was crucial to securing peace and stability, Kassis stressed.

“Without united international action to enforce the provisions of international law and the UN resolutions relevant to the Palestinian cause, we will face the prospects of an irreversible collapse of the two-state solution,” he concluded.

( / 27.09.2012)

Assad’s regime at its ‘worst stage,’ Syria’s defected PM Riadh Hijab says

Riadh Hijab, the former Syrian prime minister, said that the Syrian regime maintains its power only from Russian and Iranian support. (Al Arabiya)

Riadh Hijab, the former Syrian prime minister, said that the Syrian regime maintains its power only from Russian and Iranian support.

There is no solution to end the Syrian crisis but to arm the opposition which now controls 70% of the country, a defected Syrian top official told Al Arabiya on Thursday, pointing out that the solution to the Syrian crisis will arise from inside the country.

Riadh Hijab, the former Syrian prime minister, expected that the U.N.-Arab envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi would face the same fate of his predecessor, Kofi Annan, which is failure.

“The regime is only buying time and I’ve heard this from Bashar [al-Assad],” Hijab told Al Arabiya’s weekly show Studio Beirut.

He said that the Syrian regime maintains its power only from Russian and Iranian support. “Those two powers are keeping the regime thriving until today,” he said, adding that the regime was at its worst stage. He said that the Assad regime was collapsing morally, materially and economically.

Commenting on the ongoing fighting between the Syrian regime and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Hijab said that the regime relied completely on its air force, while the FSA controls the ground.

In his first interview following his defection, Hijab pointed out that he wasn’t willing to assume any leadership role in the formation of a new Syrian government; but he was later convinced by a friend – who is one of al-Assad’s consultants – that his new role might bring a “spark of hope” or a “ray” of solution to the country’s complicated crises.

“When I met Bashar al-Assad for several hours, I’ve detailed him with what was happening in the street and that using the army to solve Syria’s crisis was a wrong method. I’ve also spoke to him about corruption, reform and dialogue. We have also discussed other alternative approaches for the government to stop bloodshed and he had agreed on that,” Hijab said.

Hijab expresses how he was shocked by Bashar’s speech at the parliament when he said that this was a war.

“I’ve asked Bashar not to enter my city ‘Deir Ezzor, but instead he had bombed it on the first day of the formation of the government,” Hijab said.

Hijab explained that Bashar’s brother, Maher, was the decision-maker and that his cousins Rami Makhouf and Hafez Maklouf were the most influential of his aides.

Regarding the attack on the crisis management cell, “it was solely done through the Free Syrian Army and my defection has nothing to do with it. I’ve been always trying to persuade Bashar not to take this crisis as a battle against his people, there is no such thing as victory against his people.”

“After the bombing, I met Bashar to convince him that the use of power is not logical and will not bring results, except destruction and more killings. I have told him that the only solution is through constructive dialogue with the opposition, but he rejected. I’ve then lost hope that the regime would change its approach, especially after a rebel commander announced that ‘around 70% of Aleppo city has fallen in the hands of the Free Syrian Army’,” Hijab said.

“I’m not trying to form a transitional council, but to unite the efforts of the opposition abroad. We are looking for establishing a new council that would include all spectrums of the opposition to represent Syria in international forums and to take international legitimacy,” he said.

Hijab said that government should be in Syria to communicate with local councils and that the new government should be formed of technocrats.

“There is no nation in history that has suffered as the Syrian nation. There is no head of state in this world who acted like Bashar. I have no doubts that Bashar could use any means after he used tons of TNT to kill his people,” he concluded.

( / 27.09.2012)

UN General Assembly: Israel subjugated to Palestine – Israel awaits the dramatic decisions of Palestinian President Abbas

Israeli Apartheid | by Latuf

Israeli Apartheid | by Latuf

At the 2012, 67th UN General Assembly, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became irrelevant. The most overwhelming sign of this were surprising commentaries in the Hebrew media. Despite its main editors being under Netanyahu’s control, the media’s main concern was what will Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas say and do. Politically, Israel became subjugated to Palestine. This was the result of dramatic events surrounding the UN General Debate. Israel publicly lost the support of its main ally—the USA—on the issue of an attack on Iran; it faces adiplomatic attack from its neighbor Egypt, and fears a Palestinian announcement on thedismantlement of the Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu is not the man to face such harsh reality with equanimity; in fact Israel panicked and brought out a confused plan to trick Mahmoud Abbas into delivering a pro-Zionist speech. To fulfill this Machiavellian plan, Israel recruited a Jewish Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. But, I’m rushing ahead.

Prologue: The Entire World is Against Netanyahu

President Obama

President Obama at UN 67th General Assembly

Apparently, President Obama gave up on the Jewish vote for the imminent U.S. presidential elections. After all, never in American history had this minority decided the election’s fate (seeRomney, Obama, and the Israeli Vote). Obama is not well-seen in Israel, where he is a popular target of racist caricatures. According to Hebrew media, Obama and Netanyahu have nil personal relations between them; both gave up on an improvement. This is to such an extent that president Obama gave up not only on the Jewish vote, but also on the Jewish money which is much more influential during a presidential campaign. Oddly enough, this made President Obama free to pursue American interests.

In recent months Netanyahu was trying to obtain a formal statement from president Obama regarding the red lines that if crossed by Iran would lead to an attack against it by the USA. The details requested by Netanyahu included uranium enrichment levels and weapons development. One week before the beginning of the UN General Assembly, Netanyahu said “the sooner we establish [red lines], the greater the chances that there won’t be a need for other types of action.” He was referring to military actions by Israel and the USA against Iran. Secretary of State Clinton replied on the same day “we’re not setting deadlines.” This was emphasized by White House spokesman Jay Carney “It is not fruitful as part of this process to engage in that kind of specificity.” In other words, Netanyahu cannot start a war on Iran. He can’t even threat since he obviously lacks support from America. The USA won’t sacrifice two million sons for the sake of Israel’s belligerent goals.

As expanded in UN General Assembly: Egypt hits Israel, the next one to spoil Israel’s game was Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi. In an interview to the New York Times, which preceded his UN speech, he said “If Washington is asking Egypt to honor its treaty with Israel, he said, Washington should also live up to its own Camp David commitment to Palestinian self-rule.” In other words, he politely accused Israel of not honoring the peace agreement. Under such circumstances, Egypt cannot be expected to observe it. Netanyahu faces also a third threat, by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is threatening to dismantle the Palestinian Authority if the peace talks with Israel don’t advance. The result of such a step would be a Third Intifada, which will make the first two look like pale rehearsals to it. Sweating profusely, Netanyahu pulled out of a dusty Mossad drawer an unbelievable plan.

Israeli Peace Plan | by LatufIsraeli Peace Plan | by Latuf 

Netanyahu’s Best Idea

On September 24, 2012, Mahmoud Abbas met American Jewish leaders in New York. Among them was Alan Dershowitz, who is a Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. A supporter of Israel, Dershowitz asked Abbas to adopt the formula he had proposed on June 3, 2012, in a Wall Street Journal editorial and is known as the “Dershowitz Formula.” Less dramatic than its name, it specifies the conditions for the renewal of the negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Israel, American Jews and Dershowitz himself claim he is in a perfect position to make a fair offer that will be accepted by both sides. Considering his Zionist connections, this claim is highly dubious.

The formula was stated by Professor Dershowitz as “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should now offer a conditional freeze: Israel will stop all settlement building in the West Bank as soon as the Palestinian Authority sits down at the bargaining table, and the freeze will continue as long as the talks continue in good faith.” As typical in Jewish affairs, oral conditions were included. In the meeting with Abbas, the Jewish leaders requested Abbas to “recognize the Jewish link to Israel.” In other words, the Jewish leaders asked the Palestinians to recognize Israel’s Law of return, which defines automatic citizenship to any Jew arriving at Israel. Typically, Israel never defined accurately “Who is a Jew?” This semantic trap allows the Israeli Administration to do what it pleases, regardless of its own laws.

Why should a Jewish-American law professor be considered a fair facilitator in the renewal of the Palestinian-Israeli talks? Not even he is smart enough to answer this. Moreover, he showed an astounding amount of “chutzpah”—Hebrew for “insolence”—when asking something for nothing. We have been there. Israel froze the settlements’ expansion a million times. Every time it violated the fragile agreement achieved with the Palestinians; the last time this happened was in 2011. There is no reason to believe this time Israel will behave differently. In exchange, Israel requests an important declaration from the Palestinians which would be impossible to deny afterwards.

Netanyahu is trying to distract Abbas, trying to convince him to drop what will probably be an historical speech and replace it with a pro-Zionist speech. Will Abbas succumb to this entrapment attempt?

( / 27.09.2012)