The European Union (EU) has voted to deny all funding, grants, scholarships or prizes to those in the the Jewish settlements of the Golan Heights, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The invisible hands are busy, reaching, fingering. No blaming U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who has been in the region six times since taking office in January 2013, or Barack Obama. The EU, a bloc of 28 countries, is squeezing where it hurts. I’m looking for the serious reporter brave enough to ask Secretary of State John Kerry how he thinks Mahmoud Abbas can negotiate with the mess of power mongers in Palestine and why he believes Abbas has the authority to do so (details at the end of this article).
A well-known American bureau chief in Israel of a major US newspaper always prided himself with knowing the key to getting Israel to politically move in the peace process. You must use invisible hands to hurt them, he told me shortly after the first intifada broke out. The Israelis must feel the pain without being able to clearly identify or expose the source of the pain, he said. Source: Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse
What about Kerry. What is he saying behind closed doors (and he makes it clear that no one but he has the authority to give details of the coming talks:
Israeli officials are insistent that they have agreed to negotiate with no pre-conditions regarding final borders, Jerusalem, settlements, refugees, water, or other issues. Nor have they required the Palestinians to accept Israel as a “Jewish state” before the talks even begin.
The Palestinians, however, say they were promised by Kerry that the Israelis are agreeing to negotiate on the basis of returning to the pre-1967 lines. Israeli officials adamantly reject this notion, saying there is no way they are going to make such sweeping and historic concessions before the talks even begin. Most Israeli leaders in the current Netanyahu government are opposed to making such concessions at all. Source: Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog
The Al-Monitor author describes the EU “binding” decision as the ‘separation’ of the Golan Heights, the West Back and East Jerusalem from the State of Israel.
…a powerful reminder of the kind of pressure that the Americans can exert with invisible hands…
The EU decision has also clearly encouraged reluctant Palestinians since it is yet another clear response to the Palestinian desire that the 1967 borders be accepted as the basis of peace talks.
With the binding EU declaration, it is expected that the remaining 132 UN members will have to follow suit and refuse any dealings with products that are produced in areas occupied in the June 1967 war and are being marketed as being made in Israel…
Netanyahu’s response (all emphasis mine):
“I cannot allow that hundreds of thousands of Israelis who live in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and Jerusalem be hurt in this way,” Netanyahu said, using biblical names to refer to the West Bank. “We will not accept any outside interference concerning our borders,” he added. He did not say how he would block the European directive.
The prime minister added that with a civil war raging in Syria and Iran pursuing a nuclear weapon, he thought European leaders might have more important things to do…
The new measures also require that all future financial agreements between the E.U. and Israel include a clause stipulating that the settlements are not a part of the state of Israel and, therefore, not party to any contracts. Source: Washington Post
In 2009, the EU recognized East Jerusalem as the “capital of a future Palestinian state.” Barack Obama announced Israel must go back to pre-1967 borders, not specifically the same borders, but land swaps that would make Palestine happy, as if it is possible to make Palestinians happy with Israel on Middle Eastern soil.
Israel’s first demand has been that their nation be recognized as having the right to exist.
Netanyahu has fiercely defended the settlements. His predecessor Ehud Olmert tried to give away the farm, but as the former Israeli Prime Minister said in May 2013 of the 2008 offer to Mahmoud Abbas, “I’m still waiting for Abbas to call.”
Mahmoud Abbas is the leader of Arafat’s Fatah party and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. His term as president expired in 2009, but he’s still there recognized as president of the West Bank. His son was named after Yasser Arafat. In Gaza, the recognized president is Aziz Duwaik, leader of the Palestinian National Authority and Ismail Haniyeh’s Haniyeh Government. Ismail Haniyeh is the Prime Minister of Hamas. Mousa Abu Marzouq, whom Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright supported and even printed Marzouq’s (Marzook) Palestinian manifesto in the Trinity United Church of Christ Sunday bulletin, is the “Deputy Chief of the Political Bureau.” Hamas is an entity of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In April 2008, I quoted The U.S. Treasury’s designation of Marzouk as a terrorist. The Treasury website page has been taken down. The Treasury at that time had a “terrorism central.” That was the Bush administration. Laughable today. The url: http://www.terrorismcentral.com/Library/Biographies/Bios/Marzouk/BioMusaAbuMarzouk.html.
Here’s what I found in 2008:
U.S. Treasury Designation
Musa Abu Marzouk is the Deputy Chief of HAMAS’s Political Bureau based in Damascus, Syria. His activities include directing and coordinating terrorist acts by HAMAS against soldiers and civilians in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. Marzouk maintains relationships with other terrorist organizations.
The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, designated as an SDGT under EO 13224 in December 2001 based on its support of HAMAS, received start-up funding and instructions from Marzouk. Marzouk is implicated in receiving financing for HAMAS terrorist attacks, funds that have been used to mobilize military activity inside Israel and the West Bank/Gaza.
In sum, Kerry’s efforts suggest the administration has learned nothing from its first term. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not, as Kerry insists, the center of the Middle East’s troubles. Pretending it is invites failure, American humiliation and aggression by the powers that should command our attention. In the meantime, the prospects for an improved life for the Palestinians and a less confrontational relationship with the Jewish state remain remote.
So we’ll see what Netanyahu does about this threat that according to this source data from 2012, says in excess of 670,000 people live in settlement areas.
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