April 13, 2021

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05/01 Links Pt1: Ruthie Blum: Israel is a country, not a concept; Caroline Glick: The final days of the Iran nuclear deal; Israel’s Covid-19 Stats Are Stunning


From Ian:

Ruthie Blum: Israel is a country, not a concept – opinion
WHICH BRINGS us to one peculiar side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic: a spike in the desire of Israelis living abroad to return home, and an increase in the interest of Diaspora Jews to make aliyah.

According to Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog, the government should prepare for a “major wave of immigration to Israel when the coronavirus crisis ends.”

In a recent interview, Herzog referred to the fact that Jewish communities around the world have been hit hard both by the virus and by the antisemitism that it has evoked. He said that the Jewish Agency has been receiving thousands of inquiries from Israelis, and hundreds from British, French and American Jews.

Two families who arrived this month – a couple from France and the Israeli parents of American-born children returning after a 14-year stint in New York – told Channel 12 on Wednesday that a major factor in the timing of their move was Israel’s handling of the pandemic. Both said they felt far safer in Israel, from a health standpoint, than in the US and Europe. The now former New Yorkers pointed to all the people in Brooklyn “who are dying like flies.”

The French wife stated that Israel, unlike her country of origin, does not have a shortage of surgical masks.

Two young Israeli men studying in Italy who came rushing back when the crisis struck expressed the same sentiment. One told Channel 12 that he used to take Israel for granted, but when he witnessed Italian hospital staff refusing to provide ventilators to any patient over the age of 60, he had an awakening.

“Even if Israel ran out of equipment, it would find a way to acquire the machines before letting anyone die,” he said.

It’s a great lesson for all the Israelis who have been whining and winging about the country’s “disastrous” healthcare system in general and the Health Ministry’s “poor” management of the COVID-19 crisis in particular. Sadly, it’s a message most of us won’t hear, especially not now, when the decreasing number of patients on ventilators has enabled us to focus the brunt of our anxiety on the decimated economy.

Caroline Glick: The final days of the Iran nuclear deal

First and foremost, the US will benefit if the administration invokes the snapback sanctions articles because it is the right thing to do. As the IAEA reported and Salehi acknowledged, the Iranians are comprehensively breaching all of their commitments under the JCPOA. There is no substantive justification for maintaining the fiction that the deal is still salvageable. There is clearly no substantive justification for selling Iran conventional weapons.

This brings us to the second reason, and to Iran’s defenders – particularly the EU and the Democrats:
If the US triggers the snapback sanctions, the move will critically harm the European Union which, under German leadership has consistently advanced a harshly anti-American foreign policy. If the EU responds to a US move to trigger the snapback sanctions by insisting the US has no authority to act, the position will boomerang.

Even before the appearance of the coronavirus pandemic, many EU member nations were rejecting the EU’s authority to dictate a unified anti-American, pro-Iranian foreign policy.

In February 2019, Poland co-hosted a summit on Iran in Warsaw with the US. Then EU Foreign Policy Commissioner Federica Mogherini refused to participate in the conference that bought more than a dozen key EU states along with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE together to discuss the threat Iran poses to global security.

The EU’s utter failure to manage the coronavirus pandemic has struck a massive blow to the EU. Its incompetence has convinced millions of Europeans who had previously supported the EU that they have nothing to gain from it. Their national governments are the only instruments to protect their lives and liberty.

The EU’s weakened was apparent earlier this month when several EU member states angrily rejected an attempt by current EU foreign policy commissioner Josep Borrell to pass a resolution condemning the Trump Middle East peace plan and Israel’s intention to apply its law to parts of Judea and Samaria in the framework of the Trump plan.

If the EU subverts a US effort to restore UN sanctions on Iran, its action is liable to destroy whatever is left of Brussel’s power to dictate a unified EU foreign policy.

Dr. Martin Sherman: Haaretz – One outrage too far?

For Miriam Peretz, there is one goal in life: Sanctification of death—Rogel Alpher, Haaretz, April 28, 2020, (from the Hebrew).

From the Al-Qassam Brigades to the Zionist soldiers: The Al-Qassam Brigades love death more than you love life.—Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV,Nov. 18, 2012.

Explode, onward, explode, and let your soul be liberated.…How beautiful the [explosive] belt is on your waist; anyone who faces you as an enemy will be humiliated. Water your land with blood, when your weapon speaks. Smile on the day of your death as a Martyr…Onward to Paradise, and Allah is the one who will remain for your children—Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV, Nov. 12, 2019.

Of course, Haaretz, an allegedly “Israeli” daily, has every right to print whatever depraved drivel and reprehensible rubbish it wishes. It must, however, be prepared to bear the commercial consequences thereof.

For decades, under the ludicrous—indeed, almost lewd—pretext of being the “paper for thoughtful readers”, it has given a platform for the grotesque garbage, noxious nonsense and preposterous poppycock of the likes of Gideon Levy and Amira Hass, who regularly condone—or at least, express sympathetic understanding for—Palestinian-Arab terror attacks against Israel/Israelis—while demeaning, de-legitimizing and demonizing Israeli punitive and preemptive countermeasures against them.

But this week (April 28)—on National Memorial Day, when Israel remembers its fallen warriors, it might just have carried its caustic crusade against the Jewish state one outrage too far. On what is arguably the most hallowed date on the national calendar, Haaretz chose to publish a toxic tirade by its arrogant and pompous TV critic, one Rogal Alpher, against Miriam Peretz, arguably one of Israel’s most noble public figures. A twice bereaved mother, Peretz lost two of her sons, Uriel and Eliraz, both IDF officers, killed in action, and her husband, Eliezer, who died at the age of 56, shortly after the death of Uriel, his eldest son—reportedly from an illness brought on by the grief over his loss.

For many, Peretz has become a symbol of the ability to rise above personal sorrow and tragedy and to rally the strength to contribute to others and to Israeli society at large, devoting her life to educating youth and young IDF soldiers on Jewish and Zionist values.

Israel’s Covid-19 Stats Are Stunning

As of this writing, Israel, population 9.2 million people, has suffered 219 fatalities in the coronavirus pandemic. Of the nearly 16,000 confirmed cases, more than half have now recovered. Fewer than 100 Israelis are currently on ventilators.

Compare those figures to other countries. Israel has 25 fatalities per million citizens – which puts us at about 50th in the world. Sweden, which chose a radically less interventionist approach, has about 10 times as many deaths as Israel – about 2,500 – in a population only slightly larger than ours at 10 million. Belgium, population 11 million, has over 7,500 fatalities – 34 times as many as Israel. Austria, with over 8.5 million people, has almost 600 dead. In the U.S., with a similar-sized Jewish community to Israel’s, the most conservative estimate puts the death toll among Jews deep into four figures.

Israel’s leaders and authorities made decisions that its citizens generally heeded, that were designed to maximize the defense against a mysterious virus that disproportionately targeted the elderly – our parents, our pioneers. For now, the numbers and the comparisons suggest, that strategy has been remarkably effective. The writer is founding editor of the Times of Israel.

Why Israel fought the virus much better than the West

In several countries, nursing homes are being turned into dying homes. We condemned thousands of elderly people to the most atrocious death, in extreme solitude, deprived of their loved ones, without holding the hands of their children, without speaking to a priest, even brought to the crematorium en masse, without even the slightest funeral ritual being allowed.

It is a form of anthropological transgression that clashes intimately with the conscience of Western civilization.

Half of the deaths from Covid-19 in Europe have been in nursing homes. It is not a coincidence. We deliberately sacrificed these elderly in a form of social Darwinism.

If our conscience will resist this terrible temptation, the West might have some future. Otherwise, it will be transformed forever.

The Covid-19 epidemic destroyed the anthropological, social and cultural illusions on which we Westerners have lived for half a century. Armed with hedonistic rhetoric, we thought we were safe, that we even had abolished death. This disease destroys those illusions and our false consciousness. It forces us to return to the truth of the human condition. Western man now knows that death exists!

We in the West dreamed of transhumanism, gender-free, abolition of borders, digitalization of the world; the very words “border”, “nation”, “people”, “identity”, “family”, were taboo. Now we rediscover all of these are crucial to fight the disease.

This crisis has served to remind us that the family is the fundamental and basic framework that allows life to flourish and unfold, especially when existence is threatened with being pulverized.

21st resident of Yavne’el nursing home dies, taking Israel’s virus toll to 223

A 62-year-old man died of COVID-19 on Friday morning, the 21st resident of a Yavne’el nursing home to die as a result of the coronavirus.

The Baruch Padeh Medical Center in Tiberias said the man had complex underlying health conditions.

The fatality took the national death toll from the novel coronavirus to 223.

The Health Ministry said Friday morning that the overall number of cases rose to 16,004, up 134 in 24 hours as the downturn in infections persisted.

Meanwhile, the gap between the number of recovered patients and active cases continued to grow, with the number of recovered patients rising to 8,758 — an increase of 346 over the previous 24 hours.

According to the health data, 105 people are currently in serious condition with COVID-19, 82 of them on ventilators. Another 82 are in moderate condition, while the vast majority (6,836) of the active cases are displaying mild symptoms.

In recent days, Israel’s infection rate has dropped off significantly, with only dozens of new cases being reported every 12 hours, and the government has announced steps to ease restrictions on businesses and travel.
A son accompanied by his daughter stand two meters away from his mother’s balcony as he meets with her in Jerusalem during the coronavirus pandemic, on April 30, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The lower number of cases has coincided with a drop in testing. Though the ministry says it has the capacity to run 15,000 samples a day but not enough suspected cases to test.

Israel on Thursday returned to some semblance of normalcy, with much of the country opening up following two days of ramped up restrictions in place for the Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays.

Hamas Allows Gaza Doctors to Get Covid-19 Training in Israel

A group of doctors and nurses from Hamas-run Gaza received training inside Israel without coordination with the PA Health Ministry in Ramallah, Fathi Abu Warda, an adviser to the ministry, told Al-Monitor. “Four doctors from the Gaza government, including the director of international cooperation in the Gaza Health Ministry, Abdul Latif al-Hajj, received training inside Israel. Six nurses and lab technicians underwent another training session inside Israel, also without our knowledge. Everyone was taken aback that Gaza had coordinated such training, since the PA is known for coordinating with the Israeli side, not the Hamas government.”

Abu Warda noted that the Gaza government also refused to send samples to Ramallah to be tested for the coronavirus and sent them to Israel instead. Nor was ministry informed about the laboratory to be established in Gaza with donations from Chinese and Israeli companies. “It seems that Gaza was able to find a direct outlet to communicate with the Israeli side without us knowing,” he said.

A well-informed source in the Gaza government said they do not want to talk to the media about the issue so as not to publicize that there are relations between Israel and the Gaza government. Sources claimed Hamas hides the relationship to avoid accusations of normalization with Israel.

COVID-19 antisemitism reaches Australia

ACCUSATIONS that Jews created coronavirus, that affected Jews are being punished, and calling COVID-19 the “Jew flu” are just some examples of antisemitism expressed online by Australians during the current pandemic.

It comes amid a global trend of antisemitism tied to the outbreak, with Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz saying this week that antisemitism, which was already on the rise, “has gotten another boost”.

“We can’t allow this phenomenon to become legitimised by repetition. We need to join hands with Diaspora Jewish communities … to uproot this scourge wherever it shows its head,” he said.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry research director and Australian Hate Crime Network (AHCN) co-convenor Julie Nathan, who has been documenting Australian examples, said although the discourse is the latest mutation of antisemitism, “It relies on the familiar dehumanising techniques deployed by all racism.

“Australian racists online have been posting comments and sharing various images, presumably originating from overseas, portraying the coronavirus as a ‘Jew’, as well as accusing ‘the Jews’ of creating and spreading the virus, and expressing the wish that all Jews die from the virus,” she said.

“It is disconcerting, but not surprising, that antisemites are using the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to attack Jews online and to spread anti-Jewish conspiracy theories.”

She said it was too early to conclude whether the number itself of antisemitic incidents in Australia has changed during the pandemic.

Israel Advocacy Movement: Idiots blame virus on Jews

West Bank annexation not contingent on Palestinian state, US officials emphasize

Amid reports intimating that the White House is conditioning its support for Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank on negotiations over a Palestinian state, the administration stressed Friday that it continues to back Israel’s annexation plans, as long as they’re carried out in the framework of the peace plan President Donald Trump presented on January 28.

“Our position has not changed,” a spokesperson for the US Embassy in Jerusalem told The Times of Israel on Friday. “As we have made consistently clear, we are prepared to recognize Israeli actions to extend Israeli sovereignty and the application of Israeli law to areas of the West Bank that the [Trump peace plan] foresees as being part of the State of Israel.”

In exchange for American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the areas the administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” vision earmarks as part of Israel, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to freeze all settlement activity for the next four years in areas the plan envisions for a future Palestinian state, “and negotiate with the Palestinians in good faith on the basis of the Vision,” the spokesperson added.

“This will give the Palestinians an opportunity to come to the table and negotiate a peace agreement that will result in the establishment of a state of their own. The United States stands ready and willing to offer wide-ranging assistance to facilitate a final peace agreement.”

On Thursday, the US news website Axios published an article entitled “West Bank annexations must come in context of Palestinian state, White House tells Israel.”

Some observers understood this to mean that the administration would only agree to recognize Israel’s annexation if Jerusalem agreed to the creation of a Palestinian state.

Will annexation destroy Israeli-Jordanian peace, set kingdom aflame?

The possible collapse of the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty and potential destruction of a stable regional ally, the Hashemite Kingdom, is one of the stronger arguments against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex West Bank settlements this year.

The 1994 peace treaty with Jordan, as well as the 1979 treaty signed with Egypt, have been a foundation cornerstone of Israeli regional security and gateway to the Arab world.

The value of the two treaties, in an otherwise hostile region, has only increased in relation to the growing threats from Iran and ISIS and other Islamic fundamentalist terrorist groups.

So the idea of an Israeli plan, either unilateral or in conjunction with the US, that would risk those treaties and the stability of Israel, after a decade of regional turmoil, has to give one pause.

“Unilateral annexation will damage stability in the Middle East” and harm Israel, said former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) director Ami Ayalon.

“The peace treaty with Egypt and the peace treaty with Jordan are in a way the two cornerstones of our [regional] policy and our security for the last 30 to 40 years,” he said.

Last Israeli farmers leave enclave after Jordan deal ends

Israeli farmers left an agricultural enclave in neighboring Jordan apparently for the last time Thursday, as the extension of a lease enabling their use of the border land expired.

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the Israeli farmers would no longer be allowed to work their fields in the area, ending a more than 25-year arrangement meant to shore up a historic peace agreement.

The announcement reflected the poor relations between the countries, which have been underscored by Jordan’s vocal opposition to Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank. Jordan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ambassador Dhaifallah Al-Fayez, said the additional harvesting period “will end this evening.”

In November, Jordan resumed control over the Naharayim and Tzofar enclaves, after refusing Israel’s requests to renew the 25-year lease on the lands that was part of the 1994 peace treaty between the countries.

Amid Pandemic, UN Still Finds Time to Bash Israel

Do not let the United Nations fool you. Although it may have essentially closed its doors in favor of online meetings in the age of coronavirus, its obsessive anti-Israel bias is alive and well. Through its numerous bodies, the UN falsely paints Israeli policy, not COVID-19 itself, as the primary threat to Palestinian health.

Take, for example, the infamous United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which expressed anger at Israel for its efforts to quell the spread of the virus in East Jerusalem, which it says constrains free movement (currently experienced by practically every other civilized society on the planet). Unfortunately for UNRWA, the mukhtar (village chief) of the East Jerusalem village of Silwan, disagrees with their assessment, evident when he stated that the Arab sector desperately needs a lockdown to be enforced by the IDF Home Front Command.

While East Jerusalemites have complained about the government’s response to the virus in their neighborhoods (and their complaints may well be justified), Israel has by no means neglected the densely populated area. Writing on April 21st, Haaretz reported that an IDF Brigadier general was tapped to serve as an adviser to Mayor Moshe Leon for handling Coronavirus management, specifically in East Jerusalem. And according to OCHA, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Israel has established 10 Coronavirus testing facilities in East Jerusalem, and most local residents can be treated at other hospitals in the city.

Moving on to the next UN body.
Within the notoriously anti-Israel Human Rights Council, a group of independent experts accused Israel of discriminating against Palestinians when it released hundreds of Israeli prisoners as a protective step against an outbreak in the prison system, yet did not release Palestinian prisoners. These experts failed to mention that the released prisoners’ sentences were nearly completed, were not considered dangerous, or were not incarcerated for security-related offenses.

Iran: Germany will face consequences for caving to Israel, US with Hezbollah ban

Iran on Friday slammed Germany’s ban on the activities of Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah on its soil, saying it would face consequences for its decision to give in to the “propaganda machine” of Israel and US.

Germany branded the Iranian-backed group a “Shiite terrorist organization” on Thursday, with dozens of police and special forces storming mosques and associations across the country linked to the Lebanese terror group.

In a statement issued overnight, Iran’s foreign ministry said the ban ignores “realities in West Asia.”

The Islamic republic said the move was based solely on the goals of the “propaganda machine of the Zionists and America’s confused regime.”

It “strongly” condemned the decision it said showed “complete disrespect to the government and nation of Lebanon, as Hezbollah is a formal and legitimate part of the country’s government and parliament.”

Iran said Hezbollah had a “key role in fighting Daesh’s terrorism in the region,” using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

“The German government must face the negative consequences of its decision in the fight against real terrorist groups in the region,” it added.

Antisemitic al-Quds rally cancelled in Berlin following ban of Hezbollah

The organizer of the annual anti-Israel al-Quds Day rally, which is attended by Hezbollah operatives, pulled the plug on its mid-May event in the heart of Berlin after the German government banned all Hezbollah activities within the territory of the federal republic.
The office of the Berlin Senator of the Interior, Andreas Geisel, tweeted on Thursday: “The organizer of the al-Quds march canceled today the demonstration for this year. Interior Senator Andreas Geisel: We are all spared one of the most disgusting antisemitic events. Good news for Berlin.”

Berlin’s city-state has permitted the Iranian regime-sponsored demonstration to proceed each year since 1996. The current Berlin government and its social democratic party mayor Michael Müller have faced criticism over the years for not seeking to legally ban the al-Quds march. Müller’s administration said it would lose a legal battle to outlaw al-Quds.

Al-Quds Day calls for the obliteration of the Jewish state and is attended by neo-Nazis, Hezbollah members and supporters, left-wing activists for the Palestinian terrorist organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) activists are also present at the protest.

Israeli helicopters said to strike Iranian-linked targets in Syrian Golan

Syria accused Israeli helicopters of carrying out airstrikes in the Syrian Golan Heights in the early hours of Friday morning.

“From the occupied Golan airspace, enemy Israeli helicopters attacked positions in the southern region with several missiles,” Syrian state news agency SANA said shortly after midnight.

SANA said the missile strike in the area of Quneitra caused “only material damage.” It did not report any casualties or specify what was targeted.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, confirmed the strikes, saying they targeted military positions of Iranian forces and pro-Iran militias.

The attack follows a series of strikes on Iran-linked forces in Syria in recent weeks.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday appeared to confirm that Israel was behind an airstrike against pro-Iranian forces in Syria on Monday, saying the military was working to drive Tehran out of the country.

Israel said to destroy arms cache in central Syria in rare daytime attack

Israel bombed a munitions warehouse in central Syria on Friday morning in a rare daylight strike which sparked a massive explosion, according to reports from Syria.

The attack appeared to be the fifth strike attributed to Israel against Iran-linked forces in Syria in the past two weeks, coming less than 12 hours after Israeli attack helicopters reportedly bombed Iran-backed forces in the Syrian Golan Heights late Thursday night.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the arms cache that was bombed on Friday morning by Israel was located outside Homs and contained missiles and ammunition belonging to the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group.

Damascus officially denied that Israel was responsible for the explosion, saying it was the result of “human error” while transporting munitions, Syrian state media outlet SANA reported. This was widely seen by defense analysts as an attempt to cover-up yet another Israeli strike on Syrian soil.

According to Syrian media, the attack triggered huge secondary explosions, apparently as the munitions inside the warehouse detonated. SANA reported that at least 10 people were wounded in the blasts.

Satellite images show Syria strikes destroyed warehouse, underground facility

A pair of airstrikes against Iran-backed forces in Syria earlier this month that were attributed to Israel targeted a warehouse outside of Palmyra and the entrance to an underground facility near Damascus, according to satellite images released by an private Israeli intelligence firm Thursday.

Jerusalem has never officially acknowledged conducting the strikes, though Defense Minister Naftali Bennett has hinted at Israel’s involvement, repeatedly commenting that the military was working to force out Iran from Syria.

On April 20, Syria accused Israel of conducting an airstrike on a target near Palmyra. Nine pro-regime fighters were reportedly killed in the attack, three of them from the Syrian army and six foreigners, including Hezbollah members, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.

A week later, the Israeli military was accused of carrying out another attack, on the Mezzeh military airfield outside Damascus. Four pro-Iranian fighters were killed in that strike, according to the Observatory. Three Syrian civilians were also reportedly killed by shrapnel, though it was not clear if the fragments came from the incoming missiles or Syria’s air defenses.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Is the PA using coronavirus to violate Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem?

Israeli authorities say the Palestinian Authority is violating their sovereignty by operating in Jerusalem on the pretext of combating the coronavirus outbreak.

The PA and east Jerusalem residents say their activities are limited to medical and relief assistance and are unrelated to issues of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.

Over the past few weeks, some east Jerusalem residents have been detained by the police on suspicion of acting on behalf of the PA and its ruling Fatah faction to prevent the spread of the virus in several neighborhoods and villages in the city.

Police officers detained the PA “governor” of Jerusalem Adnan Gheith on Sunday morning.

Last Friday, PA Jerusalem Affairs Minister Fadi al-Hidmi was briefly detained by the police.

The two officials are suspected of overseeing the work of “emergency relief committees” that were established in Arab neighborhoods and villages in Jerusalem after the coronavirus outbreak last month.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Critics lambast Abbas for turning his office into ‘parallel government’ ‘We now have three Palestinian governments’

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has signed a new law that gives his office administrative and financial authorities similar to those of the PA government. Palestinian legal experts have criticized the move.

The law paves the way for the creation of a parallel PA government in the West Bank, critics said. The expansion of authorities for the PA president’s office comes at a time when Palestinians are facing an economic crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, they said.

The Palestinian parliament, the Palestinian Legislative Council, has been paralyzed since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip. The parliament’s absence has paved the way for Abbas and the PA government to pass dozens of laws and regulations in the past 13 years.

The controversial law, published in the Palestinian Official Gazette Al-Wakae’ on March 19, says the Office of the Palestinian Presidency shall enjoy an independent financial position within the “state budget” and have the authority to carry out financial activities. It further authorizes Abbas’s office to work directly with the private sector.

The law states that the head of the Office of the Palestinian Presidency shall enjoy the powers granted to the head of a government department and receive a salary equal to the salary of a minister. It also authorizes the office to open branches in Palestinian cities.

PLO’s Program of Deception and Lies

“The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security… accepts United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338… commits itself… to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides… the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence… the PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel’s right to exist… are now inoperative and no longer valid.” — Letter from former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat to former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, September 9, 1993.

Why do the Palestinians still need an organization called the Palestine Liberation Organization whose declared goal is the “liberation of Palestine” through armed struggle? The presence of the PLO bluntly contradicts Arafat’s letter in which he claims that the PLO “recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security” and “renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence.”

If the PLO did recognize Israel’s right to exist, why does its largest faction, Fatah, continue to refer to areas inside Israel as “occupied” territory? … They openly say and show that they consider all of the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River as “occupied” territories that need to be “liberated.” This wording lays bare the straightforward lies of the PLO and Arafat about their ostensible support for the two-state solution. At least they should get credit for being honest about what they want.

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