Wednesday, December 7

"Thou Shalt Not Steal"

English: In this 1768 parchment, Jekuthiel Sof...
English: In this 1768 parchment, Jekuthiel Sofer emulated decalogue at the Esnoga Size: 612 x 502 mm Source: at Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, Amsterdam HS.ROS.PL.a-33 Español: Decálogo de Jekuthiel Sofer, 1768, que imita la distribución en dos tablas. Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, Amsterdam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“Thou Shalt Not Steal” is the 8th Commandment of the Decalogue (Ten Commandments), which Judaism had given to the world as well as the basis of the Abrahamic Faiths or the three monotheistic faiths - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is very important to remember this as today we are witnessing the legalization of theft of Palestinian owned land under Israeli Occupation.

The Netanyahu Government Coalition is trying all kinds of devious ways to render stealing Palestinian lands in the occupied territories legal. The new revised Regulation Bill received support. The legislation passed in the Knesset in a preliminary reading by a vote of 60 to 49. It must pass three more readings before becoming law.

Apart from being illegal internationally, the stealing of privately owned Palestinian land is indefensible morally. It even goes against the basic precepts of Judaism. What kind of Judaism do the political rabbis (supporters of the right wing Jewish Home Party and the Settler Movement) preach if they support the stealing of privately owned land for establishing illegal settlements?

These rabbis always manage to justify illegal acts, even if it goes against the Torah and in this case, the 8th Commandment all because their ideology is colonization of the
Occupied West Bank.  Even Likud MK, Benny Begin, refers to this Regulation Bill as legalizing theft and refuses to support it. Benny Begin is no leftist, but a Revisionist of the Ze’ev Jabotinsky mould. He is a man of principle. His attitude on this issue is correct. He is one of the few Members of the Knesset, who still has the high ground on morality in the Knesset. MK Benny Begin is paying the price for his brave stand against his Likud Party decision.

The Ten Commandments, In SVG
The Ten Commandments, In SVG (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Coalition Chairman David Bitan (Likud) suspended fellow party member MK Benny Begin for three weeks from the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee on Tuesday for voting twice against a preliminary reading of the Regulation Bill.

From the religious aspect, one would expect establishment rabbis to protest the stealing of Palestinian property for building homes for illegal settlers. Those who received a Jewish education were taught the basics of morality and the 10 Commandments formed that base. There is really nothing open to interpretation here. The Torah is open to interpretation and brilliant scholars such as Rashi and Avraham ibn Ezra were the greatest commentators of Torah. The 10 Commandments was so crystal clear to all. Despite this, commentators enlarged on what the 10 Commandments meant in everyday life rather than giving contradictory interpretations as is common in Torah interpretation of many laws that were difficult to comprehend. Categories of stealing were also mentioned in order to dismiss any doubt as to what is considered stealing.

Today the Government Coalition is trying to legitimize stealing Palestinian owned land, even when Palestinian landowners have written proof of their ownership.

The rabbis should be protesting on the grounds that it breaks the 8th Commandment
By not doing so, they must be viewed as accomplices to the crime of theft.

The act of stealing and legitimizing it is a political act and the rabbinical gurus of the settler movement are encouraging it. Behind every illegal settlement is a right wing, self-righteous, racist rabbi. These charismatic, rabble-rousing rabbis goad and manipulate their followers to break the law and even attack soldiers in the IDF in carrying out their duty to evacuate settlements built on stolen land.

The occupation is a very complex problem.  I have written many posts about the serious complexities of ending it, especially as Israel has no serious partners with whom to negotiate peace and ending the occupation. The Palestinian Leadership (Hamas) has made its position clear on not negotiating with Israel - let alone arriving at a two-state solution. The Palestinian Authority will never negotiate or sign a peace treaty with Israel without Hamas approval.

Having said this, this does not give the Coalition Government the right to pass legislation to legalize stealing Palestinian-owned land for building illegal settlements. According to Attorney-General, Avichai Mandelblit, the bill breaches both local and international law, and indicated that the High Court was likely to strike it down.

The attempts of the Coalition Government to make political capital by enticing the right wing extremists into their camp by undermining Israeli High Court rulings is a threat to democracy as well as the rule of law.

Sunday, December 4

The Amona Outpost Debacle

The Netanyahu Government, as it behaved during the tragic massive fire disaster, is continuing to placate the extremist right wing camp by using this tragedy and the Amona illegal settlement for currying favor with the neo-fascist right - the extremist right wing religious settler-oriented Zionist movement.

A view of the Jewish outpost community of Amona. (Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)
While the fires were raging throughout the country, many unproved accusations of causing the fires were uttered against Israel’s Arab citizens. The Interior Minister, Shas Party’s Arye Deri, was one of those who threatened and clucked the most, followed by Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, and a plethora of echoes coming from the Likud Party with Netanyahu also making accusatory statements against Israel’s Arab citizens.

As mentioned in my last article, Israel’s Arab leaders condemned the fires and many Arab citizens had opened their homes to receive those, who had lost their homes in the blaze, irrespective of whether they were Arabs or Jews. Apart from that, many Israeli Arab citizens were involved in firefighting and rescue operations, including the Palestinian Authority that had sent four fire fighting units to help put out the fires.

The blaze was started by negligence, including the burning of refuse that had no connection with terror, and it is still unclear as to whether in fact there was Palestinian arson involved to the extent that the government claimed. The suspects are under investigation and some have even been released by the police. The exaggerated claims of arson by the right wing government were politically motivated to a large extent. The Income Tax Authorities will compensate the fire victims if the cause of the fire was terrorism. What will happen to those, whose homes were destroyed because of negligence that was not their fault?

“Amona (Hebrew: עמונה‎‎) is an Israeli outpost in the central West Bank. Located on a hill overlooking Ofra within the municipal boundaries of the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, the village was founded in 1995 on privately owned Palestinian land. As of 2012, its population was around 200.[1] As of October 2013, the outpost lodged 42 families.[2]
The High Court of Israel ruled in 2006 that the settlement is illegal under Israeli law,[3] but as of March 2013, its status remained unresolved as the Israeli government continued to fight the court's eviction order. In May 2014 an Israeli police investigation revealed the entire outpost lay on private Palestinian land, and that documents used by settlers to claim they had purchased the sites were forged.[4] In December 2014, the Israeli High Court ordered the state to completely evacuate and demolish the settlement within two years.[5] The international community considers all Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.[6]” From Wikipedia
 History seems to be repeating itself with Amona. Despite its evacuation in February, 2006, the government closed its eyes to its rebuilding and is now due to be evacuated again. It has only 42 families. The government must carry out the High Court decision on evacuation and cease undermining it!

Now the Israeli Government is doing its best to postpone the inevitable evacuation of this illegal outpost by even trying to make laws that undermine the Israeli Supreme Court decision on its evacuation on 25th December 2016  A sad day is approaching when this self-righteous right wing Netanyahu Government does its utmost to undermine Israeli Supreme Court’s rulings by approving the Settlement Regulation Bill that is super right wing as well as being religious, extremist and settler-friendly.

At the same time, people (over 1700 families) whose legal homes in various towns in Israel were destroyed by the recent widespread fires will be subjected to a tyrannical, inefficient bureaucracy to get compensation for their property loss and extensive damage. However, the latest news on this controversial Settlement Regulation Bill is that it has been shelved for the time being due to severe differences of opinion within the government coalition.

These people should be given top priority in getting compensation rather than the 42 families settled on an outpost that is stolen Palestinian land. Politics of the extreme right wing in Israel is great stuff to increase support for the right wing Government coalition at the expense of vulnerable citizens in Israel, who deserve far more. The Israeli Supreme Court made a decision and the government, for the sake of cheap political, populist gains is doing all in its power to prevent the decision of transferring the settlers to another place.  The latest development in this story is a request by the Netanyahu Government to the High Court for postponement of evacuation by a month. They had two years in which to evacuate. The Government took no heed of the High Court decision on this matter. In panic they started drafting bills to prevent the inevitable at the last minute. As mentioned earlier in this article, the Bill was shelved at the last moment.

If this controversial bill would have been passed into law, it would have resulted in Israel being taken to the ICC. The latest in this futile Amona debacle, is that after Netanyahu and Bennett reached compromise removing the controversial Clause 7, and despite Attorney General’s warnings that new draft still contains components contravening international and Israeli law, bill passes preliminary reading in the Knesset by 60-49 following a stormy debate.

The building of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories is illegal. There is an international consensus on this. If this were not the case, Amona as well as other similar outposts would not be threatened with evacuation. Even the Israeli High Court has ruled that these outposts are illegal. If this is the case then it is incumbent on Israel’s Legal Authorities to ensure that Amona is evacuated. Any form of manipulation by the Israeli Government preventing the court order of evacuation is illegal and will create serious problems for Israel’s image as a law abiding country and this will endanger Israel’s democracy.

Saturday, November 26

The Israel Fire and Ramifications

The last few days we in Israel we have witnessed the greatest series of fires ever. The greatest culprit is the weather with its strong, gusty winds and severe drought conditions that have not been witnessed for many years. This has created a great environment for fires. The amount of rain has been negligible over the last couple of months. These two factors contribute to making firefighting extremely difficult, even with the best equipment available. 

Unfortunately, Israel is behind in its capability of firefighting, not because of the skilled firefighters, who are really dedicated and motivated, but because of the failure of the government to learn the lessons of the previous Carmel Forest Fire six years ago and improve the capabilities of the Israeli Firefighting Brigade by purchasing more modern equipment. Israel had appealed to many countries to send resources to help put out the ever raging fires.

The cause of the large number of fires is not the weather which is just the catalyst feeding the fire’s capability. It is a macabre mix of negligence of people, including pyromaniacs of many kinds who come out of their holes and enjoy the opportunity to destroy.

It just seems to be more than a coincidence that so many fires were started in many parts of the country almost simultaneously. It began in Zichron Yakov, south of Haifa, Haifa, Jerusalem, Shaar Hagai, and other towns which were not even close to each other. It is obvious that arson must have been involved. The word “arson” is a hot potato and according to reports from the police and  Israeli Intelligence, Palestinian terrorism is involved. A number of Palestinian suspects have been arrested according to reports and it is still not clear as to whether this new form of “eshtifada” ( a word coined by Ehud Ya’ari, TV Channel 2 correspondent and expert in Arab affairs. It is a combination of the word “esh” which is “fire” in Hebrew and “intifada” which is the “uprising”) is intifada taking on a new trend, replacing the lone stabbings and cars ramming of Israelis. This is not proven.

The Palestinian lone wolves carrying out these acts of arson do not have the support of the Arab Community in Israel or even the Palestinians in the West Bank. the Palestinian Authority have even sent four contingents of firefighters to help put out the blaze that is engulfing many parts of the country. Apparently, the Arab social media praising these acts of arson are from outside Israel and Palestine with the exception of Hamas that encourages this form of terror. The condemnation of these acts came from all sectors of the political spectrum including the Joint List in the Knesset. The Arab Knesset Members condemn those responsible just as much as everybody else and demand severe punishment for those responsible . It is unfortunate that the extreme racist, right wing are making political capital out of this tragedy that affects all Israel’s peoples.

It has been encouraging to us all that the Arab Communities of many Arab towns have offered their hospitality to all Israelis, whose homes have been destroyed by the fire, irrespective of whether they are Jewish or Muslim, to stay in their homes until they have somewhere to live. It is a disgrace for many people to come to the conclusion that the Arab citizens of Israel are responsible for the arson collectively. We must condemn this attitude entirely! It is morally unacceptable!.  Many Israeli Arabs are also fighting the fires heroically in the Israeli Firefighting Brigade as well as being members of the Police Force. The implications of collective guilt on the minority groups in Israel are a terrible outcome of this massive fire. The oversea response to Israel’s call for help has been remarkably positive in the response, including from neighboring Arab states.

Having said all this, we cannot overlook the fact that the government has been negligent in retrospect for the inability of the Israeli Fire Brigade to be more effective in putting out the massive blaze that has affected so many parts of Israel. As mentioned earlier, the Carmel Forest Fire six years ago cost the lives of 44 people; in this case, about 150 people were mildly injured mostly because of smoke inhalation and shock. There was fortunately no loss of human lives. This is a great consolation of course. Nevertheless there was tremendous loss of property and homes. The evacuation of over 75 000 people from their homes saved their lives.

The Israeli Government is to blame and Netanyahu should resign. This brings to mind the spending of money on four extra submarines for the Israeli Navy, which according to the previous Defense Minister, Moshe Yaalon, was not necessary. If this money went to the purchase of more firefighting, state of the art equipment, including firefighting aircraft for the Fire Brigade, the loss of property and destruction would have been minimised.substantially and it may not have been necessary for Israel to appeal for help from other countries, which resulted in delays until the firefighting aeroplanes arrived.

Fires in Israel: Thousands evacuated amid row over 'arson intifada'
The submarine deal fiasco and the large amount of money involved in purchasing submarines for the IDF is cooking in the background. A strong suspicion remains as to whether the deal was organized by lawyers close to the coalition hierarchy had superior motives to make a profit out of the deal. The Israeli Press including Channel 10 has raised a suspicion as to the illegal element involved. Many of us feel that whether this is true or not there was definitely misappropriation of the tax payer’s money for closing a deal with a German shipbuilding enterprise. This remains to be proved after a police enquiry.

To date, the massive fires raging all over the country are under control and 1700 families have lost their homes in the blaze. Our hearts go out to the victims who have become homeless and hope that they will receive compensation for the loss of their homes.

According to latest reports, Israeli Arabs and Palestinians are responsible for arson attacks.

Saturday, November 12

Maybe Donald Trump is a Blessing in Disguise?

Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillar...
Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many of us in Israel were quite shocked at receiving the news of Donald Trump’s presidential victory. He fought a tough campaign almost on his own. His campaign tactics were vulgar, brutal and had reached a low level of character assassination of Hillary Clinton. He had made accusations against Hillary Clinton of corruption. Many of us were appalled at his tactics and rightly so - at least superficially. Much time was wasted on skirting important issues as the never ending accusations against Hillary Clinton of corruption and the emails issue were the main tactics used to win the election. These tactics worked and Trump was the one-man show that led him to success.

Wikileaks  with Julian Assange at the helm of all these reports of Clinton Foundation corruption must have been a source of information for Trump and he obviously tapped this information and used it aggressively convincing many undecided voters to vote for him. This must have had some effects on the decisions of many voters. Hillary Clinton’s nomination as presidential candidate was also plagued by many problems and her credibility was also at a very low ebb. Reports of rigging the primaries by the DNC (Democratic National Committee) in order to get an unpopular candidate the nomination was a factor as well.

The American People wanted a change and many had voted as a gut reaction against the Obama Administration and did not want the same form of government anymore. ISIS had blossomed under the Obama Administration with its appeasement of potential Jihadis. They woke up far too late after a few years of many ISIS beheadings and bloody massacres of innocent people in the Middle East as a result of the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq under the previous Bush Administration, creating a vacuum for ISIS to develop. The overflow of ISIS terror reached the shores of the US as well as Europe. The only people who fought ISIS were the Kurdish Peshmerga while the US and EU remained silent and continued with their expediency in order not to hurt Islamist sensitivities. ISIS cells still remain dormant in their countries and it is a matter of time before they strike again.

Trump during his electioneering campaign has hinted that he will not be soft on Jihadis as his future predecessor was during his administration.

While the Democrats are  licking the wounds of electoral defeat and commence soul searching, the time has come to look at the situation as objectively as possible and not from a left or right wing perspective. Trump has issued tough statements regarding Muslim immigration into the US. This is an issue that  is very controversial and does have smatterings of racism. Statistics have proved that most terrorist attacks if not all are Islamist-oriented. They (the Jihadis) have an agenda to convert or kill non-Muslims by the sword replacing democracy with a Caliphate ruled by Sharia Law.

As far as Israel is concerned, Trump may be a blessing in disguise. His administration will leave Israel alone and not make an issue out of illegal settlement construction. He has stated that the construction of settlements in occupied areas is “not an obstacle for peace”. According to Hamas, Israel’s very existence is the obstacle to peace.  Already plans for settlement construction that have been frozen under all previous US administration may be resumed. Trump has already given his tacit approval as president-elect. This will be the death of the two-state solution that has been undergoing rigor mortis for a long time. Hamas is against it (the Two-State Solution) as they view the whole of Israel as the occupation that must be destroyed and the State of Palestine will replace it. PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and his coalition government are euphoric over Trump's victory.

Donald Trump will have a lot on his plate as he has many internal issues to solve as well as reconciling with Republicans who opposed his nomination. He has no political experience and has much to learn about the US governing system.  The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict will go on the backburner for a long time under Trump’s watch.

The US approach under the various administrations have been ineffective in facilitating a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. The Two-State Solution is moribund and showed no signs of ever happening under previous US Administrations. Perhaps under the incoming Trump Administration with its hard approach may succeed. The previous “soft, conciliatory, wimpish, approaches” over the years yielded no results. All Israel got was more terror, stabbings and ramming of innocent people by Palestinian terrorists driving cars coupled with impotent US condemnation of terror after each act. Palestinian national aspirations have become more extreme. It is not only a land dispute but also a religious one. Jews are demonized in the educational system of Palestine. Pupils are brainwashed to hate Jews from the cradle.. I have written about this in previous posts using examples. Donald Trump’s AIPAC Speech in March 2016 did state truths that nobody wanted to hear.

We have to be patient and see what Trump will achieve in solving the Palestinian - Israeli Conflict. Old, unsuccessful attempts at solving this tragic conflict must be discarded and a new approach  - maybe a more hawkish, tight-fisted approach is needed to solve this tragic conflict. Will Trump stand up to the challenge once he is settled in? Time will tell.

Trump, as president-elect has been very gracious towards his opponent, Hillary Clinton. All the vicious talk against her during the campaign seems to be put aside by Trump as if it never occurred.

Monday, October 17

Is it Moral to Oppose the Occupation?

A military checkpoint along the route of the f...
A military checkpoint along the route of the forthcoming West Bank Barrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Is it moral to oppose the occupation? Yes! Is it practical? No!
The morality of ending the occupation is an unanimous “yes” which echoes from the world community. The raising of eyebrows on saying “no” to the practicality of ending the occupation is almost like a two-edged sword aiming at Israel’s heart.
Occupation of another people by a nation for the purpose of land grabs does not deserve support and is morally indefensible. It is colonizing another nation that have a right to be independent and elect the government they wish by democratic and transparent elections. Of course reasonable democrats agree with this and rightly so.
Does this apply to Israel? Of course it does, but there is one massive problem that prevents this from being achieved. I have written many articles on Israel’s establishment in 1948 not being recognized by its Arab neighbors. Israel’s establishment had been legalized by the UN on 29 November 1947 after the majority of member states had voted for partition. Within days of Israel’s establishment on 14 May 1948, wars were waged against Israel for the purpose of annihilating her.
There was never any desire by the Arab States to make peace with Israel and this of course includes the Palestinians. This was 20 years prior to the June 1967 War which Israel had won, resulting in occupying the West Bank including East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights. Prior to that there were no “occupied territories” and there were still attempts to declare war on Israel for the sole purpose of its annhilation, and “driving the Jews into the sea”. It is obvious to any objective observer that it is not the occupation that is the problem but Israel’s existence. The occupation of territory is a result of a war foisted onto Israel by Egypt in June !967 in order to destroy her. The capture of territory was a result of that war that Israel did not initiate or want. In this case the occupation may be viewed as fait accompli  because of that war. If Israel had lost there would have been mass genocide and “ethnic cleansing” of Jews living in Israel.
Israel’s greatest error was establishing settlements in the territories occupied, and populating it with many right wing, religious zealots amongst a hostile Palestinian population, rather than declaring the territories a closed military zone with a status still to be negotiated in a peace settlement that would guarantee its return to the Palestinians prior to the war. This in itself created tremendous friction between Israelis and Palestinians and complicated the situation even further.The expansion of existing settlements in the West Bank at the expense of expropriating Palestinian lands for that purpose is also not justified morally and weakens Israel's case.
Today we have players that are far more extremist on both sides not readily amenable to realistic negotiations.

On the Palestinian side, there is the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas, who is weak and ineffectual as well as lacking support from the Palestinian People. Hamas has far more support than Abbas and plays a very important role as it has more support in the West Bank than the PA. Hamas will never allow Abbas to sign a peace treaty with Israel, which would be the first step in ending the occupation of land since June 1967.
Hamas will never agree with any form of negotiations with Israel on a Two State Solution and an end to the occupation. It is dead set on Israel’s total destruction and a Palestinian State replacing Israel. The rhetoric of glee coming from the Palestinian leadership – Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority - after every terror attack, is further proof of the irreversible hate against Israelis and closes the door of any form of rapprochement.
“There is no chance Israeli society, of its own volition and without any help, will end the nightmare. Too many mechanisms insulate the violence we conduct in order to control the Palestinians.
I spoke at the United Nations against the occupation because I am striving to be a human being. And human beings, when they take responsibility for an injustice against other human beings, have a moral obligation to take action.
I spoke at the United Nations against the occupation because I am an Israeli. I have no other country. I have no other citizenship and no other future. I grew up here and will be buried here. I care about the fate of this place, the fate of its people and its political fate, which is my fate, too. And in light of all these ties, the occupation is a disaster.
I spoke at the United Nations against the occupation because my colleagues at B’Tselem and I, after so many years of work, have reached several conclusions. Here’s one: The reality will not change if the world does not intervene. I suspect that our arrogant government also knows this, so it’s busy fear mongering against such an intervention.
Intervention by the world against the occupation is just as legitimate as any human-rights issue. It’s all the more so when it involves an issue like our ruling over another people. This is no internal Israeli matter. It is blatantly an international matter.
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Here’s another conclusion: There is no chance Israeli society, of its own volition and without any help, will end the nightmare. Too many mechanisms insulate the violence we conduct in order to take control of them. Too many excuses have accumulated. There have been too many fears and too much anger – on both sides – over the past 50 years. In the end, I’m sure, Israelis and Palestinians will end the occupation, but we won’t do it without the world’s help.
The United Nations is many things. Many of them are problematic; some of them are really foolish. I don’t agree with them. But the United Nations is also the organization that gave us a state in 1947, and that decision is the basis of the international legitimacy of our country, the one where I’m a citizen. And with every day of occupation, we not only chew away at Palestine with delight, we also destroy our country’s legitimacy.
I don’t understand what the government wants the Palestinians to do. We have ruled their lives for nearly 50 years, we have shredded their land to bits. We wield military and bureaucratic power with enormous success and get along just fine with ourselves and the world.
What are the Palestinians supposed to do? If they dare demonstrate, it’s popular terror. If they call for sanctions, it’s economic terror. If they pursue legal means, it’s judicial terror. If they turn to the United Nations, it’s diplomatic terror.
It turns out that anything a Palestinian does besides getting up in the morning and saying “Thank you, Rais” – "Thank you, master" – is terror. What does the government want, a letter of surrender or for the Palestinians to disappear? They won’t disappear.
We won’t disappear either, nor will we be silent. We must repeat it everywhere: The occupation is not the result of a democratic vote. Our decision to control their lives, as much as it suits us, is an expression of violence, not democracy. Israel has no legitimate option to continue this way. And the world has no option to continue treating us as it has so far – all talk and no action.
I spoke at the UN Security Council against the occupation because I am optimistic, because I am an Israeli, because I was born in Haifa and live in Jerusalem, and because I am no longer a young man and every day of my life has accompanied our control of them. And because it is impossible to carry on like this.
We must not carry on like this. I spoke at the UN Security Council against the occupation because I am striving to be a human being”.
After reading what he said in his address, I got the impression that he was morally correct but at the same time altruistic and unrealistic. Also his address was very naive and played into the hands of Israel’s enemies in the UN. However, from a practical point of view he was not correct. If there were no Palestinian terror attacks on innocent people, irrespective of their creed, Hagai El-Ad’s speech would be justified. By his speech, he has placed B’tzelem in the camp of Israel’s haters who are not human rights oriented, nor do they care about human dignity. Their collective silence on Jihadi movements in the Middle East, including their indifference to the widespread massacres in Syria is conspicuous by their silence. They are vociferous in supporting UN resolutions against Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, while at the same time they do not condemn the vilest Palestinian terrorist murders of innocent people.
The sickening double-standard, hypocritical justification of terror is viewed as a “legitimate fight by the Palestinian victims of the occupation against the cruel occupier - Israel”. They do not view Islamist or Palestinian terror as evil but rather as heroic deeds of bravery. B’tzelem, whose purpose is to monitor human rights abuses by the IDF in Israeli occupied territories, is a just and moral cause. However, fighting to end the occupation without any peace agreement that is watertight in ensuring Israel’s security and right to exist, is not a moral cause and deserves condemnation. Hagai El-Ad is playing into the hands of Hamas that also opposes Israel’s occupation which is synonymous to supporting Israel’s destruction and total replacement of Israel with a Palestinian state. Differentiation between the occupation and Israel’s total destruction is not on the Hamas agenda. Hamas is a factor that cannot be overlooked as it has more support than the PA by far.
The mantra of “ending the occupation” really means ending Israel’s existence. If this mindset is dominant then “ending the occupation” is no option. Mahmoud Abbas knows that he does not have the power or support of Hamas to sign a peace treaty with Israel to end the occupation and establish an independent Palestinian State alongside Israel. If he does, his life will be endangered. This is a fact and negotiations with Abbas to end the occupation are an exercise in futility while Hamas has the strength and final say. As it is, Abbas is viewed as a traitor by the majority of Palestinians as well as an ally of Israel and the US. This also explains why no general elections have been held for many years.