Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922

Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922
Jordan is 77% of former Palestine - Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza comprise 23%.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Trump Advisor Castigates Clinton Betrayal Of Israel

[Published 10 August 2016]

Donald Trump’s trusted co-advisor on Israel — David Friedman — has castigated Hillary Clinton for her role as Secretary of State in perpetrating one of President Obama’s worst foreign policy failures - trashing the letter from President Bush to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dated 14 April 2004 - its terms having been overwhelmingly endorsed by Congress 502 votes to 12.

Friedman - rumoured to be Trump’s Ambassador to Israel if Trump becomes America’s next President — was recently asked this question in a wide ranging interview:
Hillary Clinton has just about everyone suggesting she is the most qualified person ever to be president. Where did she go wrong with the Middle East — if she did?

Friedman replied:
I don’t think she has made a right decision. I think she said some helpful things when she was the senator from New York when she had a Jewish constituency. As soon as she became secretary of state, the first thing she did was to embrace a unilateral settlement freeze. I think it completely poisoned the environment. I’m not aware of anything she did that is particularly good. I can name off the top of my head things that were nasty, like ripping up the letter from George Bush to Ariel Sharon, which I think was the only thing Israel got from evacuating Gaza.

The Bush letter had acknowledged the risks Israel was taking in unilaterally disengaging from Gaza and part of the West Bank. In return Bush gave Israel written assurances that in final status negotiations with the Palestinian Authority America would support Israel:
1. not returning to the 1949 armistice lines

2. demanding recognition as the Jewish state

3. refusing Palestinian Arab “refugees” being resettled in Israel
In ripping up these assurances Obama had undermined Israel’s security concerns and negotiating positions as agreed with Obama’s immediate predecessor.

Israel’s unilateral disengagement was duly completed in 2005 - with 8000 Israeli civilians leaving their homes and businesses established during the previous 35 years - whilst Israel’s military also completely withdrew.

By any analysis that disengagement has been disastrous - bringing Israel and Gaza no peace - only ongoing and continuing conflict resulting from:
1. Thousands of rockets and projectiles being fired indiscriminately into Israeli population centres from Gaza

2. Terrorist incursions into Israel and

3. The construction of tunnels from Gaza into Israel’s sovereign territory to serve as entry points for future terrorist assaults on Israel by Gaza’s myriad array of terrorist groups
To be fair to Clinton - her role in framing Obama’s policy repudiating the Bush Congress-endorsed assurances remains unclarified and unexplained.

Clinton was confirmed as Secretary of State by the full Senate voting 94-2 on 21 January 2009 — having been a Senator since 3 January 2001.

On 24 June 2004 she was part of the Senate majority that voted 95 -3 to endorse the Bush letter.

The fact that Clinton was Secretary of State when the Bush letter was torn up does not necessarily implicate her as the architect of - or personally having agreed to - that appalling decision.

Statements made by Clinton on 17 June 2009 and 25 November 2009 point to her as the lead Obama official charged with implementing Obama’s policy - finally declared by Obama on 19 May 2011. Clinton remained Secretary of State until 1 February 2013.

Critically for Clinton — she now needs to fully explain her role in Obama’s gross act of betrayal of one of America’s staunchest long-standing allies.

Does Clinton avow:
1. Obama’s policy of ripping up the Bush letter in 2011? or

2. Her vote in the Senate endorsing the Bush letter in 2004?
Clinton needs to come clean before voting day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Israel - Clinton and Trump Must Honour Bush-Congress Commitments

[Published 4 August 2016]

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have yet to signal their readiness to honour the commitments made by President Bush in his letter dated 14 April 2004 to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Bush’s letter — overwhelmingly endorsed by the House of Representatives 407-9 on 23 June 2004 and the Senate 95-3 the next day — supported Israel’s proposed unilateral disengagement from Gaza and four settlements in the West Bank.

Bush further reassured Israel that in final status negotiations with the Palestinian Authority America would support Israel:
1. not returning to the 1949 armistice lines

2. demanding recognition as the Jewish state

3. refusing Palestinian Arab refugees being resettled in Israel
Bush’s assurances were absolutely crucial to Israel resuming negotiations with the Palestinian Authority — Israel’s then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert telling world leaders gathered with Bush at Annapolis on 27 November 2007:
“The negotiations will be based on previous agreements between us, UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the Roadmap and the April 14th 2004 letter of President Bush to the Prime Minister of Israel.”

Former Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz revealed in an editorial that he raised the letter during Bush’s meeting with a group of Israeli journalists at the White House in May 2008:
“Bush did not at first realize that I was referring to the 2004 letter. [National Security Adviser] Hadley, who was also in the Oval Office, had to prompt him. “Okay, the letters,” the president then said, remembering.”
Bush’s apparent memory lapse could not be claimed by his successor President Obama who set out to deliberately circumvent Bush’s commitment supporting Israel’s position on territorial withdrawal.

Obama’s attack dog was Hillary Clinton — then Secretary of State - who claimed on 17 June 2009 that the letter:
“did not become part of the official position of the United States government.”

Elliott Abrams — Middle East Affairs point-man at the National Security Council from 2001 to 2009 — had no qualms dismissing Clinton’s contention — stating in July 2009:
“Not only were there agreements, but the prime minister of Israel relied on them in undertaking a wrenching political reorientation—the dissolution of his government, the removal of every single Israeli citizen, settlement and military position in Gaza, and the removal of four small settlements in the West Bank. This was the first time Israel had ever removed settlements outside the context of a peace treaty, and it was a major step”.

Clinton made Obama’s sinister intentions clearer on 25 November 2009:
“We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.”

Bush’s letter had never mentioned “agreed swaps” — signalling abandonment of the Bush-Congress commitments if Obama himself confirmed Clinton’s statements.

Eighteen months later that confirmation eventuated - Obama declaring on 19 May 2011:
“The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”

Michael Oren - Israel’s former Ambassador to Washington between 2009 and 2013 — has called for the Bush letter to be resuscitated. Clinton can do this by distancing herself from Obama’s attempt to trash it.

Trump’s assertion that:
“your friends need to know that you will stick by the agreements that you have with them”

is meaningless unless Trump pledges to unconditionally honour those Bush-Congress commitments.

Halting America’s rapidly declining trustworthiness and diplomatic integrity demands Clinton and Trump so act.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Palestine - European Union Rejects PLO Call To Boycott Quartet Report

[Published 25 July 2016]

European Union High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini has publicly rejected PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s call for Arab nations to lobby the UN Security Council to not endorse a Quartet Report that Abbas considers biased in favour of Israel.

Addressing the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on 22 July - Mogherini declared:
“John Kerry and I sit together in quite an impressive number of different formats. Together we decided to revitalize the Middle East Quartet. The report we have come up with just a few weeks ago cannot be underestimated. For the first time ever, the US, the EU, Russia and the United Nations have agreed on a clear analysis of the situation on the ground, and also more importantly on recommendations on the way forward to turn the two states solution into reality.

Together we have also agreed to engage more regularly with the key Arab states such as Saudi Arabia — the initiator of the Arab Peace Initiative — Egypt — for obvious reasons — and Jordan —for its role in the Holy places".

The Report certainly cannot be underestimated — condemning and identifying the PLO and Hamas as fostering and condoning terrorism - including:
1. “recent acts of terrorism” against Israelis, and incitement to violence including over 250 attacks and attempted attacks by Palestinians against Israelis since October 2015 — resulting in at least 30 Israelis having been killed in stabbings, shootings, vehicular attacks, and a bombing.

2. Palestinians committing “terrorist attacks” being often glorified publicly as “heroic martyrs.”

3. Some members of Fatah - which Abbas heads - publicly supporting attacks and their perpetrators, as well as encouraging violent confrontation — including a senior Fatah official referring to perpetrators as “heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian.”

4. Palestinian leaders having not consistently and clearly condemned specific “terrorist attacks”. And streets, squares and schools having been named after Palestinians who have committed “acts of terrorism”.

5. The continuing illicit arms build-up in Gaza by Hamas and other Palestinian groups - including the building of tunnels, the smuggling of weapons, and the production and launching of rockets towards Israel.
Such hard-hitting language by the Quartet “for the first time ever” was ground-breaking - demolishing Arab propaganda that had for decades portrayed such conduct as being justified by the “occupation” or morally justifiable as the actions of “freedom fighters”.

The Quartet has finally made clear that the murders of innocent civilians in Tel Aviv, Kiryat Arba, Jerusalem and Itamar were equally as reprehensible as those murdered in Paris, Brussels, Ankara, Nice, Wurzburg, Sydney, Orlando and San Bernardino.

Abbas’s call to boycott the Quartet Report — and Mogherini’s public rebuke - has indeed rebounded on Abbas in spectacular fashion.

Victimhood and rejectionism must now be replaced with accountability and culpability.

Mogherini’s revelation that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan will now be more regularly engaged greatly diminishes the political influence of the PLO and Hamas.

Between 1948 and 1967 Egypt occupied and administered Gaza - whilst Jordan annexed Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and East Jerusalem. Both enjoy signed peace treaties with Israel and are indispensable parties in resolving the Arab-Jewish conflict.

It is arguably no coincidence that retired Saudi General Anwar Eshki — heading a delegation of Saudi academics and business people—was meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai around the same time as Mogherini was addressing the Carnegie Endowment.

Diplomatic relations renewed this week between Israel and Guinea — a Muslim country and member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation — will hopefully encourage other member-countries doing likewise.

The winds of change are certainly blowing ...