Archive for April 13th, 2011

SWI NEWS: Wednesday, April 13 2011 9 Nisan,5771

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

PA Says US Needs to Move Fast on 'Peace Plan'

  by Gil Ronen
The United States needs to hasten its plan to revive Middle East talks before the Palestinian Authority moves to seek recognition as a state, a spokesman for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday.
"It's time for the American administration to move before September," Reuters quoted spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah as saying.
"Talk about plans and new initiatives is not enough,"  Abu Rdainah said. " said osaThere should be an effective U.S. role and strong policy against settlements. The administration has started to realize the situation in the Mideast is dangerous," he added somewhat threateningly.
The statement follows closely on the heels of today's  PA request to Western officials for $5 billion dollars to launch a state with. This, despite US rejection of unilateral moves.
The United States on Tuesday blocked a Quartet move to impose on Israel a final status plan for the Palestinian Authority. Foreign media had reported that the initiative would re-start the ”peace process.”
Taken together, the two moves indicate that the PA is practicing brinkmanship, in effect saying "hold us back" and warning the US that if it does not browbeat Israel into making concessions, it will plow ahead with the plan to declare a PA state unilaterally.

PA Wants $5 Billion to Launch State

  by Gavriel Queenann
The Palestinian Authority is asking Western officials for $5 billion dollars to launch a state with, Reuters reports. This, despite US rejection of unilateral moves and abject refusal by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiating table.
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is asking the West to underwrite a three-year development plan to the tune of $1.467 billion this year, $1.754 billion in 2012 and $1.596 billion for 2013. "We have distributed the plan to the donors and they have welcomed it," PA Planning Minister Ali al-Jarbawi said. The plan, which includes significant funds for Hamas-run Gaza, will be presented formally to donor countries at a pledging conference in June, he said. The plan says "the next three years will witness a transformation in the nature of external aid from 'life support' to real investment in the future of Palestine". "Development of vast areas of West Bank land, isolated and damaged by the occupation will also require sustained effort and investment for many years to come," the plan says. "The journey has been long and arduous, but the end is now in sight. We are now in home stretch to freedom," Fayyad says in the introduction to the plan. "Now it is time for us to be the masters of our own destiny in a state of our own." PA leaders plan to ask the United Nations General Assembly in September to recognize a PA state on all lands under Jordanian control when the 1948 armistice lines were drawn. The PA has been increasingly aggressive moves to 'reclaim' land without discussion in the past several months. The United Nations, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have praised Fayyad's drive over the past two years to establish the institutions and attributes of a modern state in time for the General Assembly meeting in September. But Israel has warned unilateral moves, proscribed by the very Oslo Accords which allow the PA to exist, cannot replace negotiated peace. Donors will have to seriously weigh the fiscal gamble they are being asked to make amidst global financial crisis. Israel's de facto control of the majority of Judea and Samaria, and the presence of 500,000 Israeli citizens in areas the PA wants for itself, make Fayyad's plans an economic gamble at best even with a General Assembly resolution in his favor. A unilaterally declared PA state would not have any treaties in place with Israel, which would encircle it. Were Israel's leaders to seal such a state off, rather than aquiesce to its existence, the PA would likely face economic ruin. It is unclear whether the 'Palestinian cause' would have survived to the present day without foreign donors interjecting themselves into Israeli affairs over the past several decades.   (

MK Zoabi Faces New Call For Her Ouster Over Call For Intifida

  by Gavriel Queenann
Hot on the heels of MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) calling for a third intifada in an Israeli paper on Wednesday, MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) has called for her ouster.

Zoabi's remarks are not surprising. Last July Zoabi said a third Arab intifada in Israel was on the horizon.

Today's remarks come almost a exactly a year after she participated in a delegation of Arab MKs who visited Libya. Zoabi also participated in the Gaza "aid" flotilla, which carried no aid, and whose self-proclaimed peace activists tried to lynch the Israeli naval commandos who boarded the Mavi Marmara in accordance with international maritime law.

“I hope that will start a large popular struggle that is political and strategic," Zoabi enthused. "Similar to the first Intifada and not the second.”

Zoabi explained, “the second Intifada was more violent, while the first was good. Tahrir Square in Egypt must be the new model for Arab youth – I would like them to initiate a popular struggle against the siege, because occupiers cannot expect to live normal lives.”

In regards to last week's anti-missile attack on an Israeli school bus, which has left one teenager fighting for his life, Zoabi said, "Palestinians were killed before that incident and Palestinians were killed after it. You don't count the dead Palestinians, only the dead Israelis. It is immoral for only the occupier to be seen as the side entitled to lead a normal life."

Zoabi has also welcomed the coming of an Iranian nuclear weapon and decried the concept of a Jewish state as inherently racist. Israel's basic laws proscribes political party's who advocate stipping Israel of its Jewish or Democratic character.

“Zoabi crossed the line a long time ago," Schneller said. "And democratic immunity cannot be allowed to continue to harm the State of Israel and its citizens. “I intend to demand Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Inon probe her statements, and if there has in fact been calls to rebellion – to strip her immunity and try her.”

Zoabi has faced attempts to strip her parliamentary immunity before. Last May, following her trip to visit Muammar Qaddafi, she and the five other MKs who participated in the visit faced a failed attempt by MKs to strip them of their parliamentary immunity and try them for visiting an enemy state.

Less than a month later Zoabi earned the dubious distinction of being a lighting rod for a rare case of Jewish unity when calls to prosecute her for criminal offenses due to her participation in the Gaza "aid" flotilla aboard the Mavi Marmara became pervasive. So charged was the reaction that MK Anastasia Michaelli tried to physically remove Zoabi from the rostrum when she next appeared in the plenum.

In that case Zoabi was saved from having her immunity stripped and prosecution by Knesset speaker Reuven "Ruby" Rivlin, who refused to bring the motion to a vote saying a Jew who had done the same thing would not have faced such a move. Instead, the Knesset had to content itself with sanctions. 


Irony: Muslims Don Yellow Star

by Shelomo Alfassa
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French Muslims found a way to protest the banning of burqas that proves insensitivity or at best, crass ignorance.

How ironic. French Muslims are putting on the symbol of the persecution of Jews. 
In all of Europe, the country with the most numerous Muslim population is France. In response to many native Frenchman's fears that their national culture is being subverted by a growing Islamic influx, as well as security concerns, the government of France overwhelmingly placed a ban on wearing full-face veils in public. In response to this, several protests were instituted by various Islamic groups in the streets of Paris.These protests included the distribution of 'green stars,' which were to be worn by Muslims as a sign of symbolic persecution. On April 11, 2011, the day the headscarf ban took effect, French and international television reports showed Muslims distributing these five pointed green stars. Abderahmane Dahmane, the French President's former "diversity adviser," called on Muslims to wear the green star (the declared color of Islam) a move deliberately reminiscent of the yellow stars forced on the Jews by the Germans, Bulgarians and others during the era of the Holocaust. One would think that the French Muslim leadership would be more urbane than to compare the banning of the headscarf to the mass murder and torture of six million innocent people. Yet, these sorts of protests are not original. In 1994, Muslims in France sported yellow crescents on their arms while marching with the slogan, "When is it our turn?" an explicit allusion to the Holocaust and the yellow stars the Jews were mandated to wear during WWII. Nonetheless, there is something ironic about all of this 'stars' business, for it was not Hitler who mandated the yellow star, but the leaders of the Islamic religion some 1200 years earlier. With the Pact of Umar, a 9th century set of guidelines between conquering Muslims and conquered non-Muslims, both Jews and Christians could gain their safety by complying with the wearing of a distinct yellow indicator of their non-Islamic status. Subsequent to this, Muslims mandated Jews wore distinct clothing, often yellow, and/or stars, from Islamic Spain to Syria and Iraq and out as far as Persia.   This unsophisticated route the Islamic leadership in France has elected to take as a form of protest at the banning of the headscarf, is not only hypocrisy at the highest level, but demonstrates a lack of understanding of the history of their own religion and a crass insensitivity to the Jewish people.

Christians begin to flee Egypt


Christians begin to flee Egypt
A growing number of Egypt’s 8-10 million Coptic Christians are looking for a way to get out as Islamists increasingly take advantage of the nationalist revolution that toppled long-standing dictator Hosni Mubarak in February. Egypt Daily News reported on Tuesday that “lawyers who specialize in working with Coptic Egyptians…say that in the past few weeks they have received hundreds of calls from Copts wanting to leave Egypt.” “They are insisting on leaving Egypt because the risks of staying here are too great,” Naguib Gabriel, a Coptic human rights lawyer, told Egypt Daily News. “Many Christians are afraid of the future because of the fanatics in the mosques.” At least 20 Christians have been killed in sectarian violence with Muslims since Mubarak’s ouster. And groups like the Muslim Brotherhood have been taking a n increasingly visible role in forming Egypt’s next government. Coptic leaders have complained that they are being left out of the decision-making process, raising fears that the Egypt of tomorrow will be far less free and democratic than even the Egypt of Mubarak.