The Jewish Observer,
24-30 Shevat, 5777 Feb. 20-26, 2017 -- THE JEWISH OBSERVER, LOS ANGELES -- 596th Web Ed.
THE IMPOSSIBLE DEAL: ESTABLISHING A PEACEFUL PALESTINIAN-ARAB STATE
By MORTON A. KLEIN, PRESIDENT
It was exhilarating to watch President Trump, at his press conference with PM Netanyahu, refuse to parrot the tired, irrational, dangerous mantra that a Palestinian state is the only option for peace. Instead, President Trump wisely spoke about real peace; creative solutions; ending the Palestinian-Arabs teaching of “tremendous hate” to their children in their schools; and the essential requirement that the Palestinian-Arabs must recognize the Jewish State.
The truth is, irreconcilable, diametrically opposed differences between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have long made it clear that the creation of a Palestinian-Arab state is an impossibility.
For example, the PA demands at least all of eastern Jerusalem – while Israel requires all of Jerusalem remain united under Israeli sovereignty. The world needs to understand that Jerusalem is not even holy to Muslims. The word Jerusalem is never mentioned in Islam’s holy book, the Koran, while being mentioned 700 times in the Jewish holy books. No Arab leader, except Jordan’s King Hussein, ever visited Jerusalem when Arabs controlled it from 1948-67. Jerusalem has never been the Capital of any country except Israel.
The PA demands that every Jew must be ejected from their future State, meaning the 800,000 Jews in eastern Jerusalem/Judea/Samaria. That will never happen.
The PA also insists that millions of descendants of so-called Palestinian “refugees,” created by the 1948 Arab War to destroy Israel, be allowed to move to Israel (Even though there are only 40,000 actual refugees from 1948 living today). Every Israeli government, from left to right, unequivocally rejects this, because it means overwhelming Israel with a hostile population and ending Israel as a Jewish state.
The PA also demands a “contiguous” state that connects Gaza to Judea/Samaria, thereby cutting Israel into two separate pieces. Israel obviously cannot agree to this demand either, if Israel wishes to remain in existence.
The PA refuses to agree to Israel’s basic demand for recognition as the Jewish State. And to top off all this, the PA refuses to sign a peace deal that “ends all claims” against Israel. Israel understandably cannot agree to a deal that permits new or continued anti-Israel claims.
Another irreconcilable PA demand is that Israel must free all Palestinian-Arab terrorists in Israeli jails. Of course Israel won’t release thousands of unrepentant convicted murderers and attempted murderers.
Also with respect to security, Israel, at a minimum, must maintain control over the major Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria, and, as Netanyahu said during Wednesday’s joint press conference, Israel needs “overriding security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River” because “otherwise we’ll get another radical Islamic terrorist state in the Palestinian areas exploding the peace, exploding the Middle East.” Israel also requires that it continue the legal Gaza weapons blockade. But, the PA says it will never accept these security demands.
Similarly, as Prime Minister Netanyahu explained back in 2009 during his speech at Bar Ilan University, any Palestinian-Arab state needs to be “demilitarized” – meaning that it cannot have an army, control its airspace, forge military pacts with the likes of Hezbollah and Iran, and import weapons, and must be subject to strong measures to prevent weapons smuggling. The PA opposes all of these Israeli security requirements.
Still another irreconcilable issue is that because a Palestinian State deal asks Israel to give up irreversible tangibles (i.e., land) for intangible peace promises, Israel needs partners that keep their promises. But, the PA broke its repeated Oslo and other agreements to combat and stop inciting terror, collect illegal weapons, outlaw terrorist groups, and preserve and provide Jews access to Jewish holy sites in PA territory.
Finally, the PA’s unrelenting goal is to destroy and replace all of Israel with a Palestinian-Arab state that no Jews can step foot in. This goal is clearly laid out in the PA ruling party Fatah Charter and in PA President Abbas’ speeches condemning the Israeli “occupation” since 1948 – and in the PA maps, stationery, official emblems, stamps, media and atlases showing all of Israel as Palestine. The PA leadership assures its people that any concessions it obtains are “stages” towards their final goal of destroying the Jewish State. Additionally, the PA is politically aligned with Hamas whose Charter calls for Israel’s destruction and the murder of every Jew!
Israel cannot agree to commit suicide – or give the PA a stronger base for advancing the Palestinian-Arab “struggle” for Israel’s total annihilation.
Morton A. Klein, President, Zionist Organization of America
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WJC NORTH AMERICA DEEPLY CONCERNED BY SPATE OF ANTI-SEMITIC INCIDENTS
By BETTY EHRENBERG
This past weekend, a series of anti-Semitic and racist incidents were perpetrated by vandals who targeted Jewish houses of worship and other properties, defacing those with swastikas and other hate-filled slogans, images and graffiti. Chicago, Houston, and New York experienced damage to public and private property, and in the case of Chicago’s Loop Synagogue, property destruction during the Sabbath. Sun City, Arizona, was the site of swastikas on a sign at the Cherokee Elementary School in Paradise Valley.
Evelyn Sommer, Chair, WJC, North America (WJC NA), said, “ We are deeply concerned by these attacks on Jewish and other sites which are intended to instill fear in our community and in those of other minorities. We appreciate the response of local law enforcement in taking these incidents seriously and pursuing those who seek to harass the Jewish community. The quick reaction by New Yorkers who erased the offending graffiti on the subway was both admirable and heartening. The best response to these attacks is to make sure that the perpetrators are swiftly caught and to ensure that our community be constantly vigilant and work with law enforcement so that others may be deterred from perpetrating similar vandalism. We continue to urge that those responsible at Jewish communal facilities ensure that security measures are in place.”
“WJC NA is grateful for the broad, resolute condemnation by local governments and every day citizens who have spoken out against these crimes. We must remain united in the face of intolerance. We will continue our advocacy and educational work on combatting racism and anti-Semitism in all forms,” said Sommer.
HARD WORK AND RIGHT LIVING EQUALS SINGING AND DANCING
By GLENN MOLLETTE
Years ago I heard a story about a butterfly that was tirelessly working to break from its cocoon. A man observed the struggling butterfly for several minutes. Feeling sorry for the soon to be flying beautiful creature, he took his pocketknife and slit the cocoon to assist its freedom. The butterfly fell out of the cocoon and flapped its wings a couple of times and died. The man's good intentions crippled and killed the butterfly preventing its own natural progression of development that would lead to its soaring through the air.
Often it's pressure, hard work and struggle that enables us to develop our internal fortitude to push forward, hang on and succeed in life. Such fortitude comes with ups and downs, pressures and failures. Eventually we develop the internal muscles and a spirit to walk on our own two feet and even to soar like the butterfly.
Muhammad Ali the famous boxer is remembered for his saying that he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Ali's ability to float like a butterfly came from years of strenuous workouts and punishment to become the greatest athlete of all time.
Joy, laughter and celebration come at the end of a hard day's work. Our greatest feelings of triumph come after a long period of work and struggle to finally realize an accomplishment or a success. Throughout life I have heard over and over that where there is no pain there is no gain.
I remember my dad buying a small record player when I was a kid. He bought a dozen or so records to go with it. We wore those records out. Another day came when he bought a big stereo record player that was also worn out over the years. He would work in a coal mine all week but he and my mother and another couple would often sing for two to three hours on the front porch of our house. Two to three times a week they would sing in church. Mom and Dad worked tirelessly throughout the week but at the end of the week they wanted to cut loose and sing and many churches gladly received them.
Singing and dancing comes from the soul. There has to be an internal emotion that is within the heart that desires to leap out in joyful expression. In other words you have to want to do it and feel like doing it. I am not sure how many people today feel so good that they want to sing and dance and celebrate living. Too many no longer have even a faint hum or occasional shuffle. Many Americans no longer have a twinkle in their eyes.
Many of us watch the news and we see a lot of unhappiness. We see a lot of rancor and critical, degrading talk on social media. There is too much unhappiness. A lot of unhappiness comes from the world of religion. Where did religious entities and many churches ever get the idea that good religion means an unhappy, joyless person? A lot of Middle Eastern religious groups are all about people being glum and joyless. This is probably why some groups don't want to hear much about Jesus who told funny stories and was the life of the party.
A lot of America's problems started on April 21st, 1964 when President Lyndon Johnson declared his war on poverty. He came to Martin County, Kentucky and sat on Tom Fletcher's porch while the media captured the iconic picture that put a face on President Johnson's war on poverty. I was in Inez that day, just a child and clueless as to what it was all about. President Johnson's idea that federal dollars handed out to millions of people would solve America's poverty problems sounded good to many but it has failed. Tom Fletcher never got out of poverty nor have forty percent of the people in Martin County especially since coalmining is now essentially over in the region.
Waiting on a government check, food stamp allotment and government medical assistance does not bring much happiness to America's fifty million people living in poverty. Today the face of poverty can be found in any town in America and it's still as bleak as it was in 1964.
People must have work to do. A daily job, some work, a real paycheck, and a life to live gives meaning and from meaning is a feeling of purpose and happiness. When we feel good about ourselves we hum and sing a little, dance a little and celebrate a little.
We have to get ourselves back to feeling better. It starts with our thinking followed by our deeds and that develops our lifestyles and our destinies. Please, let's start now. Sow a good thought. Reap a good act. Sow a good act. Reap a happier lifestyle. Sow a good lifestyle. Reap a better destiny. We can change the direction of our nation but it begins with you and me and inside the head of every American.
Glenn Mollette, Washington, DC