Ex-UN envoy Bolton to JPost: Trump has no chance at ultimate peace deal

Jpost Arab – Israeli Conflict

By Yonah Jeremy Bob May 29, 2017
Former American ambassador to the UN John Bolton told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that there is no chance President Donald Trump will secure a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

Speaking just before he received an award from Bar-Ilan University at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, Bolton added that Trump “is an optimistic man and can take a good shot at it, but I don’t think the conditions exist. I don’t think the two-state solution is viable anymore.”

“It is not a question of personality or effort, it is just undoable. There has been a 70-plus year effort for the two-state solution,” which has failed, he argued, adding, “You can’t put it back together again.”

Bolton said both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority were not viable interlocutors for peace and that any two-state solution would lead to “a terror state or an anarchic state.”

Instead, he proposed a three-state solution to include, “giving Gaza to Egypt, dividing up the West Bank – however it would be divided – with those not included in Israel becoming part of Jordan.”

The plus for the Palestinians, according to Bolton, would be “two viable economies and a better life day-to-day for Palestinians and their children.”

Considering that neither Hamas, Fatah, Jordan, Egypt – nor most of the world – favors such a solution, Bolton said he did not “underestimate the difficulty of a three-state solution. If you want to pursue the two-state solution. Knock it out – it isn’t going to work.”
“Few people liked the German reunification,” Bolton added. “They got used to the circumstances as they were.”

Further, he said Egypt could decide to take responsibility for Gaza “to try to create a stable security and economic situation” by reducing the “threat of the Muslim Brotherhood,” to which Hamas is linked. In other words, Bolton said taking Gaza would make it easier for Egypt to reduce the threat Hamas poses to it.

Bolton – who was in Israel to receive the “Guardian of Zion” award for fostering relations between the United States and Israel – said that pending any solution, he saw no reason for Israel to show restraint in building within the West Bank.

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Norway slams PA for glorifying terrorists with its money

Jpost Israel News – Politics and Diplomacy

By Herb Keinon / May 27, 2017

Norway on Friday condemned the Palestinian Authority’s naming of a woman’s center in the West Bank after a female terrorist who took part in the 1978 Coastal Road massacre that killed 37 people. Oslo also asked the PA to repay money it provided for the center.

The move came just three days after US President Donald Trump, standing alongside PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, said that peace “can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded or rewarded.”

Norway’s Foreign Minister Borge Brende issued a sharp statement noting that the center, named after Dalal Mughrabi, received funding from Norway via the Palestinian Election Commission and UN Women to promote participation of women in elections. The center is in Burka, northwest of Nablus.

“‘The glorification of terrorist attacks is completely unacceptable, and I deplore this decision in the strongest possible terms. Norway will not allow itself to be associated with institutions that take the names of terrorists in this way. We will not accept the use of Norwegian aid funding for such purposes,” he said.

According to Brende, Norway asked that its logo be immediately removed from the building, and that “funding that has been allocated to the center be repaid.”

“We will not enter into any new agreements with either the Palestinian Election Commission or UN Women in Palestinian areas until satisfactory procedures are in place to ensure that nothing of this nature happens again,” he said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon praised the Norwegian move as the “right step.”

“A strong position against the glorification of terrorists is an integral part of international efforts to stamp out terrorism,” he told The Jerusalem Post.

“We recommend that the international community investigate very well where the money it invests in the Palestinian Authority is going, and expect that all the partners in this project act as Norway did.”

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Trump furious with Abbas: You lied to me

Arutz Sheva – Israel National News

By David Rosenberg, 28/05/17

President Trump reportedly outraged with Palestinian Authority leader. ‘The Israelis showed me that you are involved in incitement.’

President Donald Trump lambasted Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, after the president claims the PA leader deceived him regarding his party’s involvement in anti-Israel incitement.

Trump met with Abbas in the PA-controlled city of Bethlehem last week during his two-day visit to Israel. The two held a joint press conference, at which time the president praised Abbas’ commitment to restarting negotiations with Israel for a final status agreement.

But according to a report by Channel 2 Sunday evening, the closed-door meeting between the president and the PA chairman was anything but cordial.

A US official present during the meeting claims the president expressed outrage with Abbas, yelling at him regarding Abbas’ claims that his Fatah faction was not involved in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement.

“You tricked me in Washington,” the president is said to have yelled at Abbas, referencing the PA leader’s March trip to the US capital.

During his March get-together with the president, Abbas claimed he was dedicated to advancing peaceful relations with Israel, and that the PA was not engaged in incitement against the Jewish state.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu publicly called out Abbas’ claim, noting the PA’s continued material support for jailed terrorists and promotion of hateful propaganda encouraging young Arabs to take up arms against Israel.

“I heard President Abbas yesterday say that the Palestinians teach their children peace,” said Netanyahu. “Unfortunately, that’s not true. They name their schools after mass murderers of Israelis and they pay terrorists,” he said at the opening of a meeting with the Romanian prime minister in Jerusalem.

According to the American official who spoke with Channel 2, beyond the PM’s statement, Israel also provided the White House with proof of the PA’s support for and promotion of terrorism.

“You talked to me about peace, but the Israelis showed me that you are personally supporting incitement,” Trump reportedly told Abbas last week.

During their joint presser last Tuesday, President Trump alluded to the PA’s funding for jailed terrorists, calling it an obstacle to peace.

“Peace can never take root in a place where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded,” said President Trump.

“We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single, unified voice. Peace is a choice we must make each day, and the United States is here to help make that dream possible for young Jewish, Christian, and Muslim children all across the region.”

Watch Abbas’ Children – A Culture of Hate

 

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Israel wants Trump to stop Palestinian payments to prisoners and families of ‘martyrs’

Palestinian Prisoner Stipends

Washington Post Reports –

By William Booth

The Palestinians call these payments “salaries” or “social welfare benefits.” The Israelis call them “blood money,” designed not to help widows and orphans, but to incite Palestinians into attacking Jews.

Palestinian authorities have been paying prisoners for years, but the issue is now front and center as Israel presses President Trump to demand that Palestinians end the practice.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a speech earlier this month, addressed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, asking, “How can you speak about peace with Israel and at the same time pay murderers who spill the blood of innocent Israelis?”

“Fund peace, not murder,” Netanyahu said, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

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Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, called on the United States, Europe and others to cut the Palestinians off.

“Aid provided by the donor countries to the Palestinian Authority every year ends up funding terrorists who murdered innocent Israelis,” he said in a statement.

Palestinian assailants sentenced to 30 years in Israeli jail get $3,000 a month, Danon said.

The families of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces get about $800 or $1,000 a month, officials say. Tens of thousands of individuals and families receive the money.

“Put simply, this is official Palestinian blood money, rewarding terrorists who kill Jews,” Danon said.

U.S. diplomats have quietly pressed the Palestinians to stop the payments, but during the Obama administration, U.S. officials kept the issue below the radar. To pacify donors, the Palestinian Authority also transferred responsibility for making the payments to the Palestine Liberation Organization.

State Department spokesmen said that the United States reduced the $400 million in aid the Palestinian Authority had received annually because of its salaries to prisoners and others, but told The Washington Post that the exact amount deducted is “classified.”

They did not explain why it is classified.

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Yossi Kuperwasser, a former top intelligence officer and Israeli army general, who now works as a scholar at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said the Palestinian government allocates $300 million a year for these payments, which is about 7 percent of the annual budget and more than 20 percent of the annual foreign aid given to the government by all donors.

This is not a trivial number, Kuperwasser said. “This is a big, big number.”

Kuperwasser said that it’s common-sensical that stopping payments to Palestinians who attack Israelis would reduce terror assaults.

“This is solicitude in advance,” he said. “This a promise to pay.”

****

 

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Israeli musician Yair Dalal

Earlier this month, Lake Effect featured a story on the Concert for Peace put on by the Jewish Community Center that united violin and oud player Yair Dalal with guitar singer and player Mira Awad.

Born in Israel to Jewish parents who immigrated from Iraq, Dalal grew up hearing Arabic and Hebrew and listening to Arabic music. For his concerts in the United States, he connected with Awad, an Israeli actress, songwriter, musician and Dalal’s former student. Awad is part Palestinian, part Bulgarian, who grew up in the Galilee and now lives in Tel Aviv.

Dalal acknowledges a rich history of Jewish musicians in Iraq, a tradition from which he draws. “Actually, almost 90 percent of the musicians in Iraq were Jews, even more. And some of them were very, very famous, like the Kuwaiti Brothers,” says Dalal. “They composed hundreds of songs, in the first half of the twentieth century, that [are] considered to be the folk songs of the Iraqi people, until today. And they came to Israel, and, at once, they lost all their audience, all their glory, all their work.”

Arabic music ultimately united different groups within Israel, Dalal says. These musicians “didn’t give up. They had their own club in the south part of Tel Aviv. And people used to come, every Friday and Saturday. Arabs from Yaffo used to come. So, they had an Israeli audience that was bringing Jews and Arabs together because they played Arabic music,” he adds.

Dalal notes that while his family struggled, they supported him from the beginning of his musical journey when he first started on the violin as a child. He wanted to be a guitar player, but the guitar didn’t come easy to him. He says that ultimately propelling him to find the oud.

He likes the oud “because it’s a melodic instrument. And it’s fretless, like the violin. And the neck is short. It’s not like this long neck of the acoustic guitar…that you have to open your fingers.”

Dalal’s oud playing incorporates different scales than the traditional Western scales and uses taqsim, the type of improvisation used in Arabic instrumental music. Taqsim comes from the word meaning “to divide,” in Arabic, explains Dalal. In music, the taqsim “divides a sentence,” and progresses step by step to create a musical story.

“You go with your heart and with your mind,” Dalal describes. “You follow the scale that you choose and try to make up a melody in a moment.”

Known for his musical collaborations, Dalal explains that a lot of research goes into his partnerships. “You have to listen a lot, to listen more than to play.”

Dalal was particularly excited about his collaboration with Awad, who he describes as, “a special voice in the Middle East. Not only by singing or being a musician. She is very special [because of] her mind, her spirit, her ideology, her thought, political ways and social ways. She expresses what she feels very straight, very direct. And she is a very good musician, too.”

Dalal has been acting to promote peace and understanding in Israel, whether it is through collaborations with Arab musicians or conducting a peace choir composed of Jewish and Arab girls. In his music, he seeks to send a direct message. “Even when I play, without anything around it, the message is very clear.”

 

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Yair Dalal – Zaman El Salam

 

Uploaded on Nov 25, 2010

Moran Choir – Zaman A Salam in Oslo with Yair Dalal, Israeli and Palestinian Choirs sing together in Oslo under the baton of Maestro Zubin Mehta.

Time for Peace (Arabic) Like an ocean – peace, my love has a wide embracing soul. There are times of ebb and flow In days of struggle and of sorrow, between storms and thunder, feelings burst out – my love Time for Peace – Inshallah (Hebrew) There is a time, I know From faraway I long Like a lone star in the rain up there in the sky. There are times of ebb and flow In days of struggle and of sorrow Out of lightning, the rainbow glows and I’ll know, the time has come Time for Peace – Inshallah

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An historic day at the Western Wall

US President Donald Trump stood alone in a rare moment of solitude before the Western Wall on Monday.

He wore a black kippa and placed one hand on the ancient weathered stones, standing there in that pose for half a minute.

 

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When the contemplative moment was over, he placed a note in one of the Wall’s crevices and then walked backward for a few steps.

In this quiet way, with a security helicopter whirling overhead, Trump became the first sitting US president to visit one of Judaism’s holiest sites and Jerusalem’s Old City where it is located.

Its location over the pre-1967 lines makes such a visit potentially complicated, because it could be seen as a sign of US acceptance of Israeli sovereignty over the site.

The US, therefore, did not want Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accompany Trump. He was, however, greeted by Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz and Western Wall Heritage Foundation director Mordechai Eliav.

Trump and Rabinowitz recited together Psalm 122, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.

May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” They also uttered Psalm 121, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from?” Rabinowitz said he told Trump how his heroes were those Jews throughout the centuries who had braved both the heat and cold rain and ignored personal danger and persecution to arrive at the Wall at dawn to pray.

The Western Wall, Rabinowitz said, symbolizes both the ancient glory of the Jewish people and its hopes for the future.

After the visit the Western Wall Foundation issued a statement that said Trump’s visit, 50 years after the Western Wall was liberated, is a clear statement of the site’s historical significance.

“Following this visit, we call on everyone to join forces and work for peace among all nations,” the Foundation said, adding that it gave Trump a book of Psalms with his name on it.

In it, Rabinowitz and Eliav wrote the following inscription: “This ancient book will safeguard you, so you can safeguard the entire world. With appreciation and admiration of being the first United States president to visit the Western Wall.”

Separately, Trump’s wife, Melania, and his daughter Ivanka visited the women’s section of the wall, where they, too, put their hands on its stones.

The Israeli media reported that Ivanka shed a tear as she stood there.

After the visit, Education Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted a photograph of Trump at the Western Wall and said, “On behalf of the Israeli people, please recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s united capital. You can do this!”

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