March 24, 2019

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06/04 Links Pt1: Why History Still Matters: The 1967 Six Day War; Amb. Friedman: If reporters can’t get Gaza story right, keep mouths shut; The Danger to Jordan of a Palestinian State

From Ian:

Why History Still Matters: The 1967 Six Day War
Today, there are those who wish to rewrite history.

They want the world to believe that there was once a Palestinian state. There was not.

They want the world to believe that there were fixed borders between that state and Israel. But there was only an armistice line between Israel and the Jordanian-controlled West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

They want the world to believe that the 1967 war was a bellicose act by Israel. It was an act of self-defense in the face of blood-curdling threats to vanquish the Jewish state, not to mention the maritime blockade of the Straits of Tiran, the abrupt withdrawal of UN peacekeeping forces, and the redeployment of Egyptian and Syrian troops.

All wars have consequences. This one was no exception. But the aggressors have failed to take responsibility for the actions they instigated. They want the world to believe that post-1967 Israeli settlement-building is the key obstacle to peacemaking.

But the Six Day War is proof positive that the core issue is and always has been whether the Palestinians and larger Arab world accept the Jewish people’s right to a state of their own. If so, all other contentious issues, however difficult, have possible solutions. But, alas, if not, then all bets are off.

These people want the world to believe that the Arab world had nothing against Jews per se, only Israel. Yet they trampled with abandon on sites of sacred meaning to the Jewish people. In other words, when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict, dismissing the past simply won’t work.

Can history move forward? Absolutely. Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994 prove this. At the same time, however, the lessons of the Six-Day War illustrate just how tough and tortuous the path can be, and are sobering reminders that, yes, history does matter.

‘Nakba,’ ‘Naksa’ … Nowhere

When it comes to the Palestinian “original sin” theory of Israel’s creation, there are two key milestones: the flight of approximately 750,000 Arab refugees during the 1948 War of Independence and the 1967 conquest of eastern Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip during the Six Day War. The events of 1948 are known in Arabic as the nakba (“catastrophe”) and the events of 1967 are called the naksa (“setback”).

This week, with the 51st anniversary of the Six Day War upon us, Palestinians will mark “Naksa Day” on June 5 with protests and demonstrations — and it will be interesting to see whether any new wave of protests fizzles out in much the same way as those on the Israel-Gaza border in recent weeks, which were presented as a commemoration of the events of 1948. It will also be interesting to see whether Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and allied Islamist groups will use the occasion to fire another barrage of missiles at Israel.

It’s increasingly clear to everyone that neither of these strategies is working for the Palestinians. Compare the international reaction to Gaza in 2018 to that of summer 2014, when Israel took military action to end the daily missile launches from Gaza, and which the Palestinians similarly depicted as a total war designed to deliberately kill and maim civilians. Four years on, especially among European governments, there is much greater recognition that Hamas uses Gazans as human shields and far less lecturing Israeli leaders about the moral perils of a “disproportionate response.” As for the expected convulsion of international protests, there really hasn’t been one so far.

Instead, the Palestinians are confronted with a region that no longer places them front and center, as well as an impatient international community, less willing to indulge Palestinian tales of Israel’s inherent brutality. In her speech to the UN Security Council emergency meeting on the Palestinian missile attacks on Israel — called by the United States — US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley openly declared that the time had come for the Palestinians to consider alternative leadership that can adopt a peace strategy. Haley, significantly to my mind, made no distinction between the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Hamas rulers of Gaza, puncturing yet another prevailing myth that the former is dramatically more moderate than the latter.

PMW: Trump is “the copy of Hitler,” says official PA daily op-ed

Following the US veto of a UN resolution, which called for “international protection” for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip over Israel’s response to the violent March of Return riots, US President Trump was described as “the copy of Hitler” and a “racist” in an op-ed in the official Palestinian Authority daily:

“This racist [Trump], the copy of Hitler, does not want to see us free but rather dead, uprooted, expelled, and captive. He is happy to see us hungry, chasing the American sack of flour and leaving the principle of freedom thousands of miles behind us.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 3, 2018]

This is how writer Muwaffaq Matar, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, interpreted the American motives behind the decision to veto the Kuwaiti resolution that was brought to a UN Security Council vote on June 1, 2018. The resolution did not mention Hamas’ rule over the Gaza Strip or the violent demonstrations and attempts to breach the border into Israel, nor the recent escalation of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.

Erdogan and Other Turkish Politicians: “The State of Israel Emulates Hitler”

American Lawmakers Push for Recognition of Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan

An American plan to bring the US closer to recognizing the Golan Heights was laid out last week for Israeli and American officials in Washington.

The six-point plan, proposed by a group of American legislators and spearheaded by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), calls to implement trade agreements between the United States and Israel on the Golan Heights, and formulate a letter “recognizing the changes that have taken place on the ground,” similar to a document that US President George W. Bush presented to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon prior to the 2005 disengagement, acknowledging the existence of large Israeli settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria, and saying it would be “unrealistic” to expect Israel to fully withdraw.

Last week, another initiative to cement US recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, put forth by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), was voted down by the House of Representatives.

The current plan includes six plans of action: channeling funds into joint Israeli-American projects on the Golan Heights; expanding US-Israeli agreements, such as the free trade agreement between the two nations, to apply to the Golan Heights and labeling products manufactured or grown on the Golan as “Made in Israel;” formulating a congressional document declaring that Syria will not return to the Israeli Golan Heights; sending congressional delegations to the Golan Heights; and formulating congressional documents that recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Meanwhile, the US National Security Council issued a statement on Sunday insisting that “there has been no change to our position on the Golan Heights.”

It’s time to recognize reality on Israel’s Golan claim

Now that the American embassy has opened in Jerusalem, Israel seems to be turning its diplomatic attention to the Golan Heights.

The Golan, which dominates the northeastern part of Israel, was captured by the Israeli Defense Forces in the Six-Day War. In 1981, Israel unilaterally annexed the territory, an act recognized by no other nation.

Israel now wants to rectify that, with the aid of the Trump administration. According to Israeli Minister of Intelligence Israel Katz, the future of the Golan Heights tops the agenda of current Israel-American bilateral discussions.

Katz says he is speaking for Benjamin Netanyahu, but the goal of international recognition is by no means limited to the Israeli prime minister and his coalition. “It is absurd to think that Israel will ever withdraw from the Golan Heights,” Yair Lapid, the head of Israel’s most important opposition party, told a group of foreign ambassadors last week.

The notion wasn’t always absurd. Between 1994 and 2007, successive Israeli governments offered Syria the lion’s share of the Golan in return for a peace agreement. The ruling Assad family flirted with the idea but ultimately rejected it.

Many Israelis regretted that. The Golan, which is smaller than Oklahoma City, lacks the emotional significance of Jerusalem and the West Bank. Sure, it is a strategic asset, but if Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak — both former military chiefs of staff — said it was safe to return the Heights to Syria most civilians were not inclined to argue.

Friedman: If reporters can’t get Gaza story right, keep mouths shut

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman attacked the media on Monday, claiming that journalists had an obligation to work harder before reporting criticism of Israel. The example he gave was recent coverage of the ongoing conflict along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip.

If journalists can’t find alternatives to how Israel is countering the threats from Gaza, he said, “keep your mouths shut.”

“With all the criticism Israel has gotten, nobody has identified the less lethal means by which Israel could have defended itself over the last 4 weeks… if what happened isn’t right – what is right? It seems to me that in this journalistic environment 9 out of 10 articles that are written about the Gaza conflict are critical of Israel,” said Friedman at The Media Line’s Press and Policy Conference which took place at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanks US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman for tweeting the truth about Havat Gilad terror shooting and the Palestinian’s funding of terrorists, January 10, 2018

Friedman said that criticism of Israel could be legitimate but that journalists were not fairly reporting on the reality along the border with Gaza.

“The conflict in Gaza has dominated the headlines in the last 3-4 weeks. Lots and lots criticism of Israel. Some of it even legitimate… I think even the state of Israel itself haven’t completed its own internal inquiries as to what happened. Maybe there are some things they could have done better. I’m sure there’s always things you can do better”, said Friedman.

150 guests attended the conference honoring the opening of the Media Line’s new Jerusalem bureau.

IDF Blog: Violence Continues Along the Gaza Strip

Since March 30th, thousands of Palestinians have gathered along the Israel-Gaza security fence in order to participate in what they call the “Great Return March.” The reality was anything but great. The violent riots have included flying arson kites to burn Israeli fields, hurling and planting explosives in order to hurt Israelis, and burning tires to create a smokescreen under which the rioters could infiltrate Israel and carry out terror attacks. That was their ultimate goal.

The violence escalated on May 14th, the anniversary of the day that the State of Israel was established, which Palestinians call the “Nakba” or the day of “catastrophe.” The day included more violent riots and infiltration attempts. IDF soldiers did what was necessary to fulfill their mission of defending and protecting Israeli civilians, and responded to the violent threats with non-lethal riot dispersal means and live fire in accordance with the rules of engagement.

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), both terrorist organizations based in the Gaza strip, began launching rockets at Israel on May 28 and continue to do so to this day. In less than a week, Gaza-based terrorist organizations launched more than 100 rockets at Israel, endangering the lives of thousands of civilians. One of the rockets hit a kindergarten and another hit a civilian home. Fortunately, no Israelis were killed or injured as a result of the attack.

The first weekend of June was marked by violence as riots raged and the rocket launches continued, forcing Israeli civilians to run to their bomb shelters.

WATCH: Hamas Terrorists Condemned by UK Ambassador at UN

The UK’s permanent representative at the UN Security Council has condemned repeated mortar and rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israel.

“I condemn, without qualification, in the strongest terms yesterday’s mortar and rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel. Indiscriminate attacks against civilians are unacceptable and they are unjustifiable. Those that risk killing or injuring children are heinous,” Ambassador Karen Pierce said.

“These attacks can’t be ignored by the Council. The UK fully supports Israel’s right to self-defense and the right to defend their citizens from such acts of terror.”

Ms Pierce spoke after Thursday’s mass attack by Hamas across the Israel border that saw more than 100 rockets and mortars launched from the Gaza Strip into the Jewish state.

Most of the rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system but several landed, including one in a kindergarten shortly before children were expected to arrive and another that caused damage to a home in which a family slept.

Rebel groups trying to drag IDF into war in Gaza

Saturday night’s rocket fire from the Gaza Strip was likely carried out by Salafi Islamist organizations, which Israeli officials refer to as “rebel” groups. The radical Muslim members of these organizations wish to turn the strip into the Islamic State’s “Sinai district” branch.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which belong to the political Islam, are these groups’ bitter enemies and are constantly trying to destroy and target their members, seeing them as a threat to the Hamas rule in Gaza.

The Salafi group’s strategy is to get Israel to do their job for them. Their goal to get the IDF to enter the strip for another round, which will include a ground invasion. In this round, they believe, the IDF will eliminate the Hamas rule and maybe even replace it or bring members of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority to control the strip.

Either case, the radical groups believe, would make it easier for them to act, as the regime would be less violent and would receive less support from the population compared to the Hamas government, facilitating their cooperation with Islamic State operatives in Sinai who are fighting Egypt.

Aware of the explosive situation and knowing Israel will retaliate against Hamas targets, the members of these organizations are doing everything they can to prevent an arrangement that will leave Hamas in power for a long time.

Cairo is scheduled this week to host a meeting for a long-term arrangement in Gaza, both of the economic situation and of the security situation, and the rebels are interested in preventing this meeting from succeeding. That’s why they are firing rockets and mortar shells.

Netanyahu orders funds withheld from PA to compensate victims of kite attacks

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday ordered Israel to withhold funds from the Palestinian Authority, in order to compensate farmers living on the Gaza border who have had their crops destroyed by massive fires sparked by flaming kites sent from the Palestinian enclave.

The prime minister instructed National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat to work on a process that would withhold payments to the Palestinian Authority to offset compensation for the communities living on the Gaza border, who have seen tens of thousands of acres of fields and nature reserves destroyed in blazes over the past month and a half.

So far damages to agriculture since March are estimated at $1.4 million, according to the Tax Authority.

Under an economic agreement signed in 1994, Israel transfers tens of millions of dollars to the PA each year, in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports.

However, critics pointed out that the Palestinian Authority does not control the Gaza Strip and is at loggerheads with the Hamas terror group that has ruled Gaza since ousting the PA in 2007.

Penalizing the PA for Hamas actions would almost certainly not encourage Hamas to stop the kite arson and would probably have the opposite effect.

Liberman vows retaliation for Hamas, Islamic Jihad kite attacks

Israel will retaliate for incendiary kite attacks from the Gaza Strip, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman vowed at Monday’s Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting at the Knesset.

Liberman revealed that there have been 600 kite attacks, of which 400 were intercepted with technology. The remaining kites caused 198 fires, burning 9000 dunams.

“It must be clear we are unwilling to accept kite attacks, riots on the fence, or attempts to rush the fence and harm land that is under Israeli sovereignty,” Liberman said. “We will act according to Israel’s interests at timing that is comfortable for us. We will not leave accounts open. We will settle accounts with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the rests of the terrorists operating against us from the Gaza Strip.”

These remarks were made a day before the Palestinians are holding the Naksa Day, their day of commemoration of the 1967 “setback” when Israel took control of the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem during the Six Day War.

Liberman revealed that he had briefed mayors of communities in the Gaza periphery. He praised their strength and restraint and said they understood the decision-making of the defense establishment.

Israeli Troops Kill Gaza Man Who Tried to Cross Border With Ax

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian who tried to cross the border from Gaza armed with an ax on Monday, the military said in a statement.

The army circulated a picture of what it said was the ax lying on the ground near the border. A second Palestinian who was with the man fled after they damaged Israel‘s security fence, a military spokesman said.

There was no immediate comment from Palestinian officials on the incident, which comes at a time of renewed violence along the Israel-Gaza frontier.

Last week terrorists from Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, fired dozens of rockets and mortar bombs at Israel, drawing Israeli air and tank strikes in the heaviest round of fighting since 2014..

JCPA: Hamas Will Go for Broke in Gaza

Is There an Answer?

In the end, it appears that the way to find a solution for the problems of the Gaza Strip is to restore the rule of the Palestinian Authority to the area. While Hamas is in power, there will be no solution and Israel and the international community will not assist an armed terrorist movement that calls for and tries to bring about the destruction of Israel.

Israel has nothing to look for in the Gaza Strip, but it needs a government there that it can speak to. Hamas is not that government. The only realistic alternative is the Palestinian Authority, or the Fatah Party, led by Mohammed Dahlan, if the Palestinian Authority falls apart once Mahmoud Abbas departs.

At the end of the 1990s, there was a small airport in Gaza, and advanced plans for the construction of a seaport as per the conditions of the Oslo accords. This would still be possible, but not if a terrorist organization is ruling Gaza. The Palestinians need to remember this. The solution is in changing the government In the Gaza Strip, even if takes time.

Palestinian ‘Naksa Day’ protests come amid heightened Gaza tensions

Palestinian activists in Gaza said that they plan to cross the border with Israel on June 5 to coincide with “Naksa Day,” the commemoration of the 1967 “setback” when Israel took control of the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem during the Six Day War.

Along with Nakba Day and Land Day, Naksa day is one of the most important annual Palestinian protests. This year, the events come after months of protests along the Gaza border as part of the “Great March of Return” in which more than one hundred Palestinians have been killed and thousands wounded by IDF fire.

Arabic media, as well as multiple websites connected to the Iran regime and supportive of Hezbollah, have emphasized the importance of Naksa Day online, but many of them have also sought to highlight Israel’s preparations.

While Palestinians prepare for the day, “the Zionist army with its full strength is preparing to deal with possible conflicts” Iran’s Tasnim news agency wrote.

Iran’s Fars news agency reported that the Hamas committee responsible for organizing the Gaza protests will send “mass protesters” to the border, referencing the marches on Nakba Day.

Syria’s pro-government Al-Mayadeen even published a translated article from Yisrael Hayom, which appeared to warn Hamas about any escalation that could lead to an Israeli ground operation.

Israeli Military Says to Probe Killing of Gaza Nurse

The Israeli military said on Saturday it was investigating the apparent killing by its troops of a Palestinian nurse on Friday during riots along the Gaza border.

Health officials and witnesses said Israeli forces shot dead 21-year-old Razan al-Najar, a volunteer medic, as she ran toward the border fence, east of the south Gaza city of Khan Younis, in a bid to reach a casualty.

The Israeli military said Palestinian terrorists had attacked its troops along the border with gunfire and a grenade.

In a written statement on Saturday, the military said it would investigate al-Najar’s death.

Thousands of people attended al-Najar’s funeral in Gaza on Saturday, including some she had treated when they were wounded at previous border riots. Her body was wrapped in a Palestinian flag and carried through the streets on a stretcher by mourners.

“With our souls and blood we redeem you martyr Razan,” cried mourners as the body was brought to her home for a last farewell before burial.

Residents said al-Najar was a popular figure at the riot sites and pictures depicting her as an angel circulated on Palestinian social media.

Edgar Davidson: ‘Expert’ who documents blood libels against the Jews …promotes a blood libel against the Jews

One of the objectives of the current round of violence by Hamas is to use their Pallywood skills to create ever new ‘martyrs’ to feed the blood libel lust of the media and antisemites. So, since the mass ‘protests’ have started, we have had the ‘wheelchair bound grandfather’, the ‘press reporter’ and the ‘baby’ all ‘deliberately killed’ by the evil Jews. All those stories – based entirely on Hamas claims and always accepted without questioning by the media – made headline news throughout the world before being quietly debunked as lies some time later (with the original reports rarely, if ever, corrected). The latest example (see above) – dominating all of the headlines today – is the case of the ‘innocent beautiful young nurse’ who was ‘deliberately shot and killed by Israeli snipers’. That narrative is a lie like all the others.

Leftists – including many who claim that they ‘fight’ antisemitism – are among the most enthusiastic promoters of the modern-day Hamas blood libels. To get a feel for the cognitive dissonance involved in this I present the example of one well-known leftist ‘antifascist’ called Mike Stuchbery. For the past 5 hours he has been tweeting interesting examples of historic blood libels against Jews one after another such as this one below, citing how these lies led to pogroms against the Jews.

Yet, guess what he posted immediately before he started this series of tweets? The tweet at the top of this page promoting the modern day blood libel against Jews (accepting the lies pumped out by genocidal antisemites Hamas).

IfNotNow Co-Founder Max Berger is a Ham

IfNotNow is an extreme anti-Israel organization I have written about before on a number of occasions.

One of their founders is a guy by the name of Max Berger. Naturally, he is an accomplished liar. This is what he tweeted a couple of days ago, following the apparent death of Razan Najjar.

You know what is horrifying? The shameless dishonesty on display here. There is nothing honest about Berger’s claim – it is an outright lie.

This is what the IDF has said in response to Rajar’s death.

In a written statement on Saturday, the military said it would investigate al-Najar’s death.

“The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) constantly works to draw operational lessons and reduce the number of casualties in the area of the Gaza Strip security fence. Unfortunately, the Hamas terror organization deliberately and methodically places civilians in danger.”

How this equates to “We wouldn’t have shot Razan al-Najjar if she hadn’t been trying to save Palestinian lives” is beyond me.

PreOccupiedTerritory: We’ll Deter Hamas Rocket Attacks By Doing The Same Things That Didn’t Deter Recent Hamas Rocket Attacks By the IDF (satire)

Here in the communities along the border with the Gaza Strip, we soldiers receive constant reminders why we do what we do: the families who live here who need protecting; the local economy that suffers when rockets and mortars are fired from Gaza; and the beauty of nature at risk from the incendiary kites sent from the other side. That is why we intend to demonstrate to Hamas and other factions in the Gaza Strip that we will exact a dear price for their violence, so dear that we’ve been running the same operations for years, and that did not prevent them from launching hundreds of rockets and shells just over the last week.

Deterrence is the name of the game in this rough neighborhood. Only if we make the consequences of an attack so punishing that it does not pay can we guarantee security and safety for the residents of this area and beyond. Thus the airstrikes. We continue to make our point via operations that target unmanned positions, not to cause even a single casualty among Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Deterrence.

This army, navy, and air force will not rest until calm is restored. We will bring about restoration of that calm by leaving it up to the militants in the Gaza Strip whether or not to keep firing, rather than taking the initiative and rooting out the launching crews, destroying stockpiles, and inflicting permanent damage on the organizations’ personnel and infrastructure. The security of our southern communities is at stake here.

Let us be clear: the Israel Defense Forces will stop at nothing, except trying anything new or more convincing, to protect the citizens of this country.

Riding High in Polls at Home, Israeli PM Netanyahu Set to Talk Iran During Three-Nation European Swing

Iran will be at the top of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s agenda this week during a three-nation swing through Western Europe.

“Tomorrow I will leave for Europe to meet with three main leaders: Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday. “While I will discuss with them developments in the region, the emphasis will be on Iran, first of all on continuing to block Iran’s nuclear program.”

“Of course,” he added, “I will reiterate an unchanging truth: Israel will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons.”

“The second thing,” Netanyahu went on to say, “is the blocking of Iran’s plans for expansion and aggression throughout the Middle East, especially in Syria. I will also insist on a basic principle: Israel retains — and will continue to retain — freedom of action against the establishment of an Iranian military presence anywhere in Syria.”

Netanyahu’s comments followed reports in the past few days that Iran-backed forces were preparing to withdraw from southern Syria.

Israel gives EU allies key files from Iran nuclear archives

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is slated to travel to Europe this week in a bid to rally support from key allies for amending the international nuclear deal with Iran and for pushing Iranian forces out of Syria.

Netanyahu is set to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, followed by meeting with the leaders of France and the U.K.

According to British daily The Times, ahead of his visit to Berlin, Paris ‎and London, Netanyahu shared with Israel’s allies some of the top-‎secret files obtained by the Mossad Israel’s intelligence agency, ‎proving the military nature of Iran’s nuclear program.‎

According to the report, among the trove of files making up the ‎Iranian nuclear archive was a memorandum, dated to 2001, in ‎which the Iranian Defense Ministry authorized the country’s ‎military to enrich uranium from 3% to over 90% – military-grade ‎levels that suggest Iran had every intention of building a nuclear ‎weapon.‎

The memorandum was signed by Amir Daryaban Ali Shamkhami, ‎who now serves as secretary of Iran’s National Security Council ‎and is a top military adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali ‎Khamenei.‎

What Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency about its ‎capacities was almost comical compared to what we have here,” a ‎senior Israeli intelligence officer told The Times.‎

Knesset Hearing on EU Aid Facilitating Arab Control Over Area C

Over the past three years alone, at least €42,000,000 (nearly $50 million, NIS 175 million), half of which was contributed by the European Union, has been donated for the express purpose of facilitating Arab control over Area C. (This includes only sums reported publicly by the PA, the UAWC, and/or the foreign governments and organizations involved. In fact, the undisclosed sums that have been donated for this purpose most likely far outpace the reported sums.)

On Sunday, Regavim presented hard, shocking data to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, in a hearing convened by the Subcommittee on Judea and Samaria headed by MK Moti Yogev. The hearing, attended by MK Sharen Haskel, MK Bezalel Smotrich, and representatives of the Ministry of Defense, the National Security Advisor, and other key government and security personnel, was dedicated to a problem we’ve been spotlighting for quite some time (see for earlier discussions of the problem).

Yishai Hemo, Field Coordinator for Judea and Samaria at Regavim: “In light of the scope of the PA’s activities and the massive funding that enables this program, the Civil Administration must treat agricultural land seizure as a phenomenon of strategic importance, and not merely as a localized violation of law. Any other attitude toward this extensive activity means that either the authorities are burying their heads in the sand, or they are guilty of dangerous negligence.”

At the hearing, some very serious charges were leveled regarding implementation of government policy: Despite the government’s unequivocal policy regarding Area C in Judea and Samaria as being under full Israeli jurisdiction, in practice this policy has not been implemented by the body responsible to do so – the Civil Administration.

The Danger to Jordan of a Palestinian State

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan stands to lose more than any other party from the establishment of a state of Palestine. While the potential dangers and complications for Israel of such a state could be significant, Jordan would face threats to both its social stability and its foundational idea: that it governs the Arab population on both banks of its eponymous river.

In addition to the substantial political and security difficulties such a state would create for Jordan, it could also jeopardize its continued viability by shifting the locus of political leadership for a majority of Jordanians away from Amman and towards Ramallah.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Palestinian statehood is a moribund idea. Despite official pronouncements, none of the principal parties seem very keen on achieving it, least of all the Palestinian Authority.

However, if through some unilateral action a state of Palestine were to be declared in the territory comprising Areas A and B, the repercussions (mostly negative) would affect Jordan more than any other party, including Israel.

The dangers to the Kingdom would manifest themselves on three levels: the political threat, the security threat, and the existential threat.

JCPA: Jordan Faces Serious Government Crisis

The Hashemite monarchy in Jordan survived the waves of revolution unleashed by the Arab Spring in 2011. However, it is now facing a severe economic crisis that is undermining the stability of the kingdom.

Despite the Ramadan fast, tens of thousands of people demonstrated on the last days of May and beginning of June 2018, throughout Jordan in a mass protest against the tough economic situation, new austerity measures, and rising prices. They even demanded a change of government. Today, June 4, 2018, Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki submitted his resignation to King Abdullah II. Dr. Omar al-Razzaz was appointed to replace him.

These are the most serious demonstrations since 2011, and they are taking place even though King Abdullah issued an order to freeze a government measure to raise the prices of fuel and electricity. For the first time, Bedouin tribes, known to be loyal to the regime, took part in the demonstrations.

The newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported on June 2, 2018, that King Abdullah cut short a foreign visit and returned to Jordan because of the tensions in his kingdom. Around 200,000 people took part in the demonstrations.

The Jordanian government raised the prices of fuel, including gasoline, solar fuel, and gas, by around 5 percent due to a global rise in oil prices since 2014.

The atmosphere in Jordan is very harsh, and there are urgent public calls for reforms and quick changes in economic policies.

Embattled Jordan prime minister submits resignation over tax protests

Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Mulki resigned on Monday after he was summoned by King Abdullah II over growing protests against his government’s austerity measures, a government source said.

“Prime Minister Hani Mulki submitted his resignation to the king this afternoon during a meeting at the Husseiniyeh Palace and the king accepted the resignation,” the source told AFP.

The king accepted the resignation and asked Education Minister Omar al-Razzaz to form a new government, the source added.

Demonstrations have rocked the capital Amman and several other cities since Wednesday after the government adopted a draft income tax law and announced new price hikes based on recommendations by the International Monetary Fund.

Protesters had called on Mulki to step down, vowing not to “kneel” and earning support from trade unions as well as a majority of MPs opposed to the new taxation.

The premier’s meeting with the king came hours after around 5,000 people rallied outside Mulki’s office in Amman, on the fifth consecutive day of protests in Amman and other cities.

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