President of Refugees or Holy Land Celebrity?

President of Refugees or Holy Land Celebrity?

By: RYAN JONES, Israel Today— The Palestinian Authority and its collaborators in the mainstream media like to paint the Palestinian-controlled territories as a land oppressed and destitute. But one has only to look at the palatial living standards of the Palestinian leadership to realize something’s fishy. This week, photos emerged on social media showing the newly completed palace of Palestinian “president” Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. Many commenters could be excused for at first glance thinking this was an artist’s rendition of the historical and grandiose Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Plans to construct this princely dwelling were not unknown. Years ago the Palestinian Economic Council for Development & Reconstruction (PECDAR) posted the project details. And in late–2010 Abbas was photographed by the AP as he laid the cornerstone of this new “West Bank” chateau. But there seemed to be some discrepancies between particulars provided by PECDAR and, well, reality. First, the Palestinian leadership described the project as a “public facility,” though it is doubtful the average public will ever see its interior. It is listed as a “guest palace,” ostensibly a residence for visiting dignitaries. But that begs two questions: a.) can the cash-strapped Palestinians really afford to be building such lavish “guest houses”?; and b.) if that’s the presidential “guest” palace, what does Abbas’ primary residence look like?! By way of comparison, here’s a photo of the official, Israeli taxpayer-funded residence of Israel’s prime minister (foreign dignitaries have to stay in a hotel): The second glaring issue is that PECDAR claims construction of Abbas’ palace was “self-financed.” But as any informed observer knows, the bulk of the Palestinian Authority...
Op-Ed: Pope Francis to be “tried” in Jerusalem

Op-Ed: Pope Francis to be “tried” in Jerusalem

By: GIULIO MEOTTI, Israel National News— On September 9 at 12 am, a special “trial” will be set for Pope Francis in Mount Zion, Jerusalem. The “Sanhedrin”, an unnoffical body modelled after the religious High Court composed of 71 sages of Temple times, will “prosecute” the Vatican for its policy on Jerusalem. The idea for a “trial” was promoted when the Vatican officially recognized the political body known as the Palestinian Authority as a state, and began to refer to it as such in official documents. “Unfortunately, these recent actions by His Excellency (the Pope) are part of a long history of activity and positions on the part of the Roman Catholic Church, which apparently has never abandoned its mission to persecute the People of Israel for refusing to recognize the church’s savior as the Messiah of Israel and to force them to surrender to its religious doctrine” says the Sanhedrin. It also explains that “the Vatican should desist from its encouragement of the occupying entity of the Land of Israel, known as the Palestinian Authority, and from referring to it as a ‘state’. Further, we request that the Pope instruct the Vatican that the sole claimant of Divine right to the Land of Israel is the nation of Israel. This will certainly contribute much more to genuine peace than encouraging the PA ‘angel of peace’ who till now, has only contributed hostility and war”. Continuing, they write: “We are surprised at how you could bestow such honor on a man who is a Holocaust denier, who has stated his refusal to allow even one Jew to live in...
What Are Palestinians Doing With U.S. Money?

What Are Palestinians Doing With U.S. Money?

By Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone— Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah did not tell the visiting U.S. Congressmen that the $4.5 billion the Americans invested in promoting Palestinian democracy went down the drain or ended up in secret Swiss bank accounts. Nor did he tell the Congressman that the Palestinians do not have a functioning parliament or a free media under the PA in the West Bank or under Hamas in the Gaza Strip. And, of course, Hamdallah never told the Congressman that for Palestinians, presidential and parliamentary elections remain a remote dream. The refusal of the international community back then to hold Arafat accountable was the main reason a majority of Palestinians were driven into the open arms of Hamas. Palestinians saw no improvement in their living conditions, mainly as a result of the PA’s corruption. That is why they turned to Hamas, which promised them change, reform and an end to financial corruption. The Americans and Europeans are therefore responsible for Hamas’s rise to power. One does not have to be an expert on Palestinian affairs to see that the billions of dollars have neither created democracy for the Palestinians nor boosted the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The “investment” in Palestinian democracy and peace with Israel has been a complete failure because of the refusal of the U.S. Administration to hold the Palestinian Authority fully accountable. Unless Western donors demand that the PA use their money to bring democracy to its people and prepare them for peace, the prospects of reviving any peace process will remain zero. During the past 20 years, the U.S. has invested $4.5 billion...
State Department Interferes in Favor of PLO Terrorists

State Department Interferes in Favor of PLO Terrorists

By Tova Dvorin, Arutz Sheva— The Obama administration has asked a judge Monday to “carefully consider” the size of the bond demanded from the Palestinian Authority (PA) for its role orchestrating years of terror attacks against Israelis and Jews – directly interfering in a US court case. In February, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) – the terror group behind the PA – was found liable to pay $218.5 million to victims of terror, a figure that was set to be tripled to $655.5 million according to the anti-terrorism laws under which the case was brought. Legal rights group Shurat Hadin (Israel Law Center) helped represent the 11 families who charge the PA and PLO of inciting, supporting, planning and executing the seven terror attacks which killed American citizens between 2000 and 2004. In May, the PA admitted it cannot pay such a hefty fine, however – as it is struggling under billions of debt despite an ongoing stream of aid from Israel and other countries – and called the case “political extortion.” Now, US President Barack Obama is reportedly seeking to lower that fine – following a series of conflicts between officials from the State Department and the Justice Department over the issue, an official involved in the case told the New York Times Tuesday. In a document entitled “Statement of Interest of the United States of America,” the Obama administration expressed concerns over the payments hurting the PA’s basic government services. Forcing the PLO to pay “a significant portion of its revenues would likely severely compromise the P.A.’s ability to operate as a governmental authority,” deputy Secretary of...
Palestinians and Iran agree to disarm Israel’s alleged nukes

Palestinians and Iran agree to disarm Israel’s alleged nukes

By JNS.org— The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Iran have agreed to work together in holding an international conference on the nuclear disarmament of Israel, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official said. PLO Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani recently visited Iran, where he met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Zarif and agreed to hold a conference to rid the region of Israel’s alleged nuclear weapons, the Jerusalem Post reported. Majdalani also delivered a letter from PA President Mahmoud Abbas to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and voiced support for the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. He said his talks with Iran also focused on the Israeli “assaults” against Palestinians. An Israeli government official said the meeting raised questions about the PA’s commitment to peace. “The PA’s alliance with Iran proves that its issue with Israel is not about borders or settlements, but rather the Jewish state’s right to exist,” the official said. Israel is believed to be the only country in the Middle East with a nuclear arsenal, but has never confirmed or denied its possession. http://www.jns.org/news-briefs/2015/8/10/palestinians-and-iran-agree-to-disarm-israels-alleged-nukes#.VcnrcPlViko= Share...
Op-Ed: Security, yes, but National Patrimony is not Negotiable

Op-Ed: Security, yes, but National Patrimony is not Negotiable

By: VICTOR SHARPE, Israel National News— “Then said Satan: This besieged one, how shall I overcome him? He has courage and ability, he has weapons and imagination. “So he said: I shall not take his strength, nor muzzle nor bridle him. Nor soften nor weaken his hands, only one thing I shall do; “I shall dull his brain and he will forget that he is in the right.” So wrote the Israeli poet, Natan Alterman, in his poem, Gone like a Dream. He was expressing his deep anxiety over the weakening resolve of Jews in Israel and in the Diaspora to proclaim Jewish historical rights throughout the reconstituted Jewish homeland. This inevitably led to a fateful abandonment by so many Israeli politicians and successive governments to the paramount needof responding effectively to Arab and pro-Arab propaganda, which sought to deny the reconstituted Jewish state every inch of sovereign ancestral Jewish land from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Jordan and delegitimize Jerusalem as Israel’s unitedcapital. For 48 long years, since the liberation of east Jerusalem and biblical Jewish Judea and Samaria from illegal Jordanian occupation – territory the world grotesquely prefers to call the West Bank – the beloved Jewish heartland has remained in a political limbo and not fully annexed. Instead, too much has been sinfully abandoned. Israel’s foolish failure to declare again and again its historical and ancestral patrimony in its own biblical, physical and spiritual homeland has allowed a hostile world to thus assume that Israel itself does not believe it has legal or indigenous sovereignty in its own territory or in its capital, Jerusalem. Like...
Israelis and Saudis Reveal Secret Talks to Thwart Iran

Israelis and Saudis Reveal Secret Talks to Thwart Iran

By: ELI LAKE, Bloomberg View— Since the beginning of 2014, representatives from Israel and Saudi Arabia have had five secret meetings to discuss a common foe, Iran. On Thursday, the two countries came out of the closet by revealing this covert diplomacy at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. Among those who follow the Middle East closely, it’s been an open secret that Israel and Saudi Arabia have a common interest in thwarting Iran. But until Thursday, actual diplomacy between the two was never officially acknowledged. Saudi Arabia still doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist. Israel has yet to accept a Saudi-initiated peace offer to create a Palestinian state. It was not a typical Washington think-tank event. No questions were taken from the audience. After an introduction, there was a speech in Arabic from Anwar Majed Eshki, a retired Saudi general and ex-adviser to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Then Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations who is slotted to be the next director general of Israel’s foreign ministry, gave a speech in English. While these men represent countries that have been historic enemies, their message was identical: Iran is trying to take over the Middle East and it must be stopped. Eshki was particularly alarming. He laid out a brief history of Iran since the 1979 revolution, highlighting the regime’s acts of terrorism, hostage-taking and aggression. He ended his remarks with a seven-point plan for the Middle East. Atop the list was achieving peace between Israel and the Arabs. Second came regime-change in Iran. Also on the...
Pope Francis and the ‘Angel of Peace’ Scandal

Pope Francis and the ‘Angel of Peace’ Scandal

By: TSVI SADAN, Israel Today— A scandal recently erupted after media reports such as that by BBC’s David Willey quoted Pope Francis as telling Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting on May 16: “You are an angel of peace.” The Vatican was subsequently forced to issue a clarification that ultimately did little to alleviate anger over the Pope seemingly bestowing a completely unmerited and extravagant compliment upon the head of the PLO. “Pope Francis meant no offense to Israel by referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as being ‘an angel of peace’ and intended to encourage harmony between the two sides,” said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, who further explained that “the word ‘angel’ in this context means ‘messenger’.” This anemic response that essentially confirmed Willey’s report, along with the Vatican signing a formal treaty recognizing a Palestinian state, did very little to “encourage harmony.” Two days after that unfortunate phrase was uttered, Dror Eydar, a keen-eyed and forthright columnist, wrote an open letter to the Pope in the English edition of the daily Israel Hayom, in which he stated: “Your Holiness, establishing a Palestinian state on the Samarian hills in the heart of the historic Land of Israel is the latest attempt to nail the entire Jewish people to the cross.” At least from Eydar’s perspective, the Holy See’s gesture of adorning Abbas with a Christian medal did very little to alleviate concerns about the intentions of the Vatican. The excitement over the appearance of a new angel of peace, unlike any we have seen before, was given a new twist following this tweet by journalist Henruque Cymerman,...
Abbas Keeps Looking for Something for Nothing

Abbas Keeps Looking for Something for Nothing

By: Earl Cox, Breaking Israel News—   Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a.k.a Abu Mazen, has repeatedly announced publicly his demands if there is to be any peace with Israel. So here we are again, some dozen years on, and it seems the PA is again in the mood to agree to disagree. President Abbas has listed the following “preconditions;” a more politically correct term than “demands” but they are both the same. In case you missed it, these demands are to stop all settlement construction in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and, among other demands, the release of the remaining Palestinian prisoners which Israel agreed to do in a peace agreement made last year but which was halted due to PA intransigence by association with Hamas and with the International Criminal Court. These Palestinian “preconditions” are not new to anyone familiar with Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. What is interesting, however, is the expectation that the “peace process” will last at least a year to allow for, in part, the establishment of a timetable for Israel to evacuate the so-called West Bank (which is really Judea and Samaria) by 2017 as if Israeli withdrawal is already a done deal. Not surprisingly, these demands are all concessions on Israel’s part. Nowhere is there any quid pro quo for Palestinian concessions. Perhaps Mr. Abbas and his “colleagues” think peace negotiations with Israel are to be purely one-sided; Israel gives and the Palestinians take. It’s the same old story. What could the “poor Palestinians” give up in return for Israeli concessions? Does recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State come to mind?...