Arlene from Israel
A brief correction first — one more lesson that we cannot believe all that comes to us on the Internet. Several people have forwarded me an e-mail about the last 819 Jews leaving Norway because of anti-Semitism. I was a bit dubious about this and did a bit of checking.
Found a statement from the ADL at http://www.adl.org/combating-hate/cyber-safety/c/internet-rumors/alarmist-e-mail-norway-Judenrein.html:
“Much of the information in this e-mail message [about the 819 Jews leaving] is alarmist and outright false.
“ADL is in close contact with the leadership of the Norwegian Jewish community. The community has assured us there is absolutely no truth to the claim that all 819 Norwegian Jews have left. The Jewish population of Norway is approximately 1,700 and there has not been any significant emigration.”
And then… a follow-up on my notice yesterday that Jimmy Carter is about to be presented on Wednesday with the “International Advocate for Peace” award at Cardozo Law School at Yeshiva University. This is what I call shameful.
I advised people to see a site set up by concerned alumni, who advised protesting to the school. The official school response, however, is that this is a decision of the students — with the award to be presented by the school’s “Journal of Conflict Resolution.”
That there is no official sanction of this event by the school administration is being seriously questioned, however. See: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/yus-law-school-to-honor-jimmy-carter-for-conflict-resolution/2013/04/08/
At any rate, there seems next to no chance that the event will be cancelled. Professor Alan Dershowitz offered to come to Cardozo tomorrow and debate Carter on human rights, but he seems to have made this offer via the press and not directly to the school. And I have no expectation that his offer will be accepted in any event.
What I can do here is provide some salient information about Carter, which I ask you to share with others. If Carter is being honored, his record must be very public as well.
We can begin with a photo of Carter, with his arms open wide to embrace Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, in Gaza City, after the two had been discussing ways to eliminate the blockade of Gaza.
Credit: Hamas via The Jewish Press
You can see links to several positions Carter has taken with regard to terrorist organizations and Israel (all from Elder of Ziyon) here:
Where Israel is concerned, some of his most outrageous statements can be found in his book, Peace: Not Apartheid. The fact that he employs the term “apartheid,” which is a libelous buzz word the Palestinian Arabs use with regard to Israel, provides a major clue as to where he’s coming from.
You can see many issues regarding the book, including some of his outright fabrications, addressed here: http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_article=1246&x_context=2&x_outlet=118.
I would like to look at just once prime example — shameless in its blatant distortion of truth. This is from the CAMERA link above:
“Carter claims Israel has been the primary obstacle to peace, that Arab leaders have long sought peace while Israel preferred holding on to ‘Palestinian land’ over peace, and that if only Israel would ‘[withdraw] to the 1967 border as specified in the U.N. Resolution 242…’, there would be peace.
“…Carter is factually wrong when he asserts that U.N. Resolution 242 requires Israel to withdraw to the 1949 armistice line that was in place until 1967. He has repeated this serious falsehood in many interviews… (Emphasis added)
“‘The demand [wrote Carter] is for them to give back all [his emphasis] the land. The United Nations resolutions that apply, the agreements that have been made at Camp David under me and later at Oslo for which the Israeli leaders received the Nobel Peace Prizes, was [sic] based on Israel’s withdrawal from occupied territories.’
“He mischaracterizes UN resolutions and apparently has forgotten what he himself signed as a witness to the 1978 Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt, which states in Section A1c: ‘The negotiations [concerning the West Bank and Gaza] shall be based on all the provisions and principles of UN Security Council Resolution 242. The negotiations will resolve, among other matters, the location of the boundaries…’
“To claim now that the very agreement he witnessed and signed specifies withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines is outrageous…
“UN Resolution 242 does not require Israel to withdraw from all the land to the ‘1967 border,’ since there is no such border. The ‘green line’ is merely the 1949 armistice line and the drafters of 242 explicitly stated that this line was not a ‘secure border’ — which 242 calls for.
“The British UN Ambassador at the time, Lord Caradon, who introduced the resolution to the Council, has stated that, ‘It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial.’” (Emphasis in original)
Beyond exposing Carter, I cited this example — which shows how blatantly he lied — for another reason as well. What Carter says here is a reflection of the Palestinian Arab “narrative,” and you’re likely to encounter it in many places (including in what I am writing below about Kerry’s efforts). I welcome the opportunity to set this record straight once again.
Lastly here, see what Alan Dershowitz wrote in 2007, regarding “Ex-president for sale”:
“Recent disclosures prove that it is Carter who has been bought and paid for by anti-Israel Arab and Islamic money.”
“Journalist Jacob Laksin has documented the tens of millions of dollars that the Carter Center has accepted from Saudi Arabian royalty and assorted other Middle Eastern sultans, who, in return, Carter dutifully praised as peaceful and tolerant (no matter how despotic the regime). And these are only the confirmed, public donations.
“Carter has also accepted half a million dollars and an award from Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, saying in 2001: ‘This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.’ This is the same Zayed, the long-time ruler of the United Arab Emirates, whose $2.5 million gift to the Harvard Divinity School was returned in 2004 due to Zayed’s rampant Jew-hatred. Zayed’s personal foundation, the Zayed Center, claims that it was Zionists, rather than Nazis, who ‘were the people who killed the Jews in Europe’ during the Holocaust. It has held lectures on the blood libel and conspiracy theories about Jews and America perpetrating Sept. 11.
“Another journalist, Rachel Ehrenfeld, in a thorough and devastating article on ‘Carter’s Arab Financiers,’ meticulously catalogues Carter’s ties to Arab moneymen, from a Saudi bailout of his peanut farm in 1976, to funding for Carter’s presidential library, to continued support for all manner of Carter’s post-presidential activities. For instance, it was the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), founded in Pakistan and fronted by a Saudi billionaire, Gaith Pharaon, that helped Carter start up his beloved Carter Center.”
There’s more — much more. But this is sufficient. A sad day, indeed, that Cardozo Law School should honor this man.
As to the “peace process,” Secretary of State Kerry met with Prime Minister Netanyahu last night, and again this morning.
Kerry referred to the talks as “very productive,” but this indicates nothing specific of consequence, and — thank Heaven — I think there IS nothing of consequence that has transpired. It is always possible that something is going on totally behind closed doors with regard to Israeli concessions — especially as Kerry is insisting that what is discussed in the meetings not be made public as there is nothing official yet — but the tenor of the press conference between the two did not suggest this.
Alluding to progress on the economic front, he said it “could be critical to changing perceptions and realities on the ground, all of which can contribute to forward momentum.” Here, he certainly means Israeli’s release of PA tax monies and probably some economic initiatives as well. But if he thinks this is going to mollify Abbas or bring him to the table he can think again. What was good was that Kerry stated upfront that these economic initiatives do not substitute for political progress, which is at the heart of the matter.
Netanyahu, for his part, provided a very politically correct statement:
“I’m determined not only to resume the peace process with the Palestinians, but to make a serious effort to end this conflict once and for all.”
But he knows very well that it is not possible to “end this conflict once and for all” now (or even in the foreseeable future). If he wants the world to see what a good guy he is — and this is his style — OK. If he prefers not to say publicly, “Look, you know the PA is hostile and uncooperative and nothing is going to happen,” let it be. As long as he doesn’t make concessions as part of that “serious effort.”
Kerry made a statement about appreciating Netanyahu’s “good faith effort;” this may simply be a response to Netanyahu’s eager words. Hopefully.
There are unconfirmed reports that Kerry wants to get Israel and the PA to Amman for four-way talks with the US and Jordan involved. Jordan is exceedingly eager for this, and for the international prestige that would accrue.
In the meantime, Kerry says each of them will “do some homework” over the next few weeks “with a view to seeing how we can really pull all of the pieces together.”
So this is wait-and-see until he’s back again.
There have been multiple reports floating about a revival of the Arab League Peace Initiative. It was originally a plan advanced by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and then endorsed by the 22 members of the Arab League in 2002 and reintroduced in 2007.
A great deal was made of it at the time, because for the first time there was talk about “comprehensive peace.” But this plan was dead at its inception.
The Arab League intended to dictate to Israel: No negotiations. Take it or leave it. Move back totally behind the pre-’67 lines and receive normative relations (however that was to be defined) with the Arab state in return.
Israel wasn’t having it.
Now apparently, according to the Times of Israel, Kerry has reintroduced this possibility to Abbas as a way to break the stalemate.
And here I comment: The Arabs had expressed hope that Kerry would bring “new ideas” for negotiations. Well, folks, there ain’t no new ideas. There is just a recycling of the same old ideas over and again. That is, as long as the “two state solution” is the final goal. It’s time to start thinking out of the box — something the US government is not remotely prepared to consider yet. I’ll come back to this. Here, I will simply say how ludicrous that Kerry would think he could use this old plan to invigorate the “peace process.”
Kerry knew, going in, that Israel would again reject the plan. So he suggested a few changes to the Palestinian Arabs: a mutually agreed upon modification the 1967 line, and stronger security guarantees for Israel, which is so concerned with security.
PLO Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio that: “Kerry asked us to change few words in the Arab Peace Initiative but we refused.” (Emphasis added)
What has to happen before the Obama administration gets it?
In the meantime, according to YNet, later this month a delegation from the Arab League’s Peace Initiative Committee — which will include the head of the Committee, Secretary General of the Arab League, and the foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar and the Palestinian Authority — will be going to Washington to discuss this.
Are we having fun yet?
I considered it important to write today about Carter. And so I will table the important subject of Iran until my next posting.