Israel in the News Mar/Apr 2011

PLO raises flag over Washington
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) flag now flies in Washington, DC. PLO officials hoisted their banner over their U.S. mission for the first time in January.

Said mission chief Maen Areikat: “It’s about time that this flag that symbolizes the struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination and statehood be raised in the United States.”

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, criticized the Obama administration’s willingness to allow the flag to go up. “Raising this flag in DC is part of the Palestinian leadership’s scheme to manipulate international acceptance and diplomatic recognition of a yet-to-be-created Palestinian state while refusing to directly negotiate with Israel or accept the existence of Israel as a democratic, Jewish state,” she said.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been working to convince the international community to recognize a new Arab state in all the territory between the 1948 armistice line and Jordan in an attempt to circumvent talks with Israel. Israeli leaders have repeatedly rejected the PA’s demand for all land east of the armistice line, saying that Israel plans to keep control of Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria, and of Jerusalem, Israel’s capital.

(Israelnationalnews.com)

America, Russia Implicitly OK Palestinian State
The United States and Russia in January followed the example of a growing number of South American countries by taking steps to openly recognize a Palestinian Arab state on the ancient Jewish lands of Judea and Samaria.

Speaking to the press in Jericho during his visit to the Palestinian Authority (PA), Russian President Dmitry Medvedev noted that Russia had already recognized a Palestinian state when Yasser Arafat first declared independence in 1988. “We have supported the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital since the last century, and we still support it,” said Medvedev.

Hours later, the Obama administration allowed the Palestinians to raise their flag over the Palestinian Authority diplomatic mission in Washington for the first time ever, symbolically transforming the location into a national embassy.

(www.israeltoday.co.il)

Arabs Honor Child-Killer
Skull-bashing child-killer Samir Kuntar recently was the honored guest of Syrian leader Bashar Assad and gave Assad an advance copy of his book, My Story, detailing his decades in Israeli prisons.

Kuntar is a celebrity because in 1979 he led a team of Palestinian terrorists in an amphibious infiltration of the Israeli coastal town of Nahariya. After landing on the beach, the terrorists executed an off-duty police officer and then entered a nearby home. That’s when the horror truly began.

Inside the house, Kuntar and his team found Danny Haran and his four-year-old daughter, Einat. Kuntar took the two down to the beach and executed Danny in front of his mortified little girl, then personally bashed in little Einat’s skull with the butt of his rifle.

Kuntar has been a rising star in the Arab Middle East since his release from an Israeli prison in 2008 as part of a prisoner exchange between the Jewish state and Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist militia.

(www.israeltoday.co.il)

PA Recognition Spreading Fast
Ireland has upgraded the status of the Palestinian Authority (PA) diplomatic delegation in Dublin, starting what many in Israel fear will be a domino effect leading to the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian Arab state.

Irish officials stressed the PA delegation was not being upgraded to a full embassy, but rather a diplomatic mission, and that Dublin was not recognizing “Palestine” as an independent state. Still, the move does mean the head of the PA delegation will be referred to as “ambassador” and will present credentials to the Irish president just like a real ambassador. So while Ireland is playing a game of semantics, the reality is that the PA will be represented as an independent, national entity in Europe.

Israeli officials were furious. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon warned that these de facto recognitions of a Palestinian state were putting bilateral peace further out of reach and are actually advancing another onset of violence.

“Unilateral steps are creating a bubble of expectation for the Palestinians. We can see an obvious connection to the recent spate of recognition and a hardening of the Palestinian position,” said Ayalon. Ayalon was referring to the new trend in Latin America to recognize a Palestinian state in all of Judea and Samaria. Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Paraguay all have done so over the past few months.

(www.israeltoday.co.il)

MTV Romanticizes Stealing Israeli Cars
A recent episode of The Vice Guide to Everything, the newest reality show on MTV, dives into the world’s most popular foreign affairs topic, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by romanticizing the widespread Palestinian theft of Israeli cars.

The episode, titled “Ramallah Racing,” opens with the host’s narration stating that, “since legally importing car parts is such a hassle, some enterprising young Palestinians came up with a clever alternative—sneak into Israel, steal a nice car, then drive it back into the West Bank and chop it up for parts.”

Viewers are then introduced to “Adam,” a Palestinian man who claims he no longer actively steals cars but has volunteered to demonstrate how it’s done. Adam asks the understanding host, “Someone who steals our land, why shouldn’t we steal his car?”

Adam is then shown smashing the window of an Israeli vehicle and struggling to break into the steering column. The show’s host helps Adam to break the column’s covering and start the car. The two then race away while giving approving nods to one another.

Nearly 50,000 Israeli vehicles are stolen every year. It is one of the worst criminal plagues the nation deals with. Prior to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA), car theft in Israel was at normal levels. But it has more than doubled thanks to Palestinian thieves being able to reach a safe haven quickly in PA-controlled areas.

Israeli authorities do not dare enter the Palestinian areas to reclaim the vehicles because repeatedly doing so would cause an international uproar against Israel. The Palestinians know this and use it to their advantage.

In turn, the rampant theft is a major reason Israeli Jews distrust Palestinian Arabs. Promoting and romanticizing that theft can only serve to further drive a wedge between the two sides.

by Israel Today, www.israeltoday.co.il

Israeli Diplomat Ambushed by NY Times Staff
The New York Times, flagship of the liberal American media, has never been a friend of the Jewish state. But the newspaper’s aversion to Israel turned to open hostility in December when its top editors ambushed and tore into an unsuspecting senior official from the Israeli Consulate in New York City.

The Israeli official was invited by the Times editors, among them rabid columnist Thomas Friedman, to meet with them at their office. Being a veteran at dealing with the American media, the official assumed the invitation was for a friendly discussion and perhaps an interview regarding the peace process and other matters of importance to Israel.

The Israeli had no idea he was being invited for what he described as a lynching.

As the meeting started, the Times editors—most of them Jews, and one of them a former Israeli—began to attack the Israeli diplomat and refused to give him even a moment to respond. They blamed Israel for everything, the diplomat told Israel Today.

The Times editors insisted the breakdown of the peace process was Israel’s fault, that the lack of peace was Israel’s fault, and were adamant that Israel had given nothing to the Palestinians. They accused Israel of being an extremist and racist state and blasted the diplomat for Israel’s “ill-treatment” of President Barack Obama.

In short, the Times staff informed the Israeli in no uncertain terms that they were sick of his country. The diplomat told us he was shocked by the attack. He tried to respond, but the Times editors were not interested in hearing his arguments.

“I asked them,” said the diplomat, “We haven’t given the Palestinians anything? How can you say that? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke with his party platform and implemented a 10-month Jewish building freeze, and what did we get in return? More Palestinian refusal to negotiate.”

According to the Israeli, the Times editors responded: “Yes, yes. Of course you are going to start telling us about how Israel’s security needs are not being met. You just don’t get it that we are sick of hearing about that.”

There is little doubt that this ambush was led by Friedman, whose hostility toward Israel in his recent columns has surprised even his liberal friends in the Jewish state. In recent articles, Friedman has accused Israel of being a spoiled child, crazy and extremist. He insisted that the U.S. stop being Israel’s “enabler” and pointed out that the rest of the world is fully on the side of the Palestinians, so why not America?

Wrote Friedman in one of his columns: “Israel, when America—which has given you billions over the past 50 years and defended you in the international arena—asks you to stop building settlements for three months in order to jump-start peace talks, there is only one correct answer, and that is ‘yes, whatever you say.’”

by Israel Today, www.israeltoday.co.il

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