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By Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos

BESA Center Online Debate No. 8, March 22, 2018

Q: Following the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by US President Donald Trump, President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is counting on the EU to support his cause. In his January 2018 meeting with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, he was assured “of the firm commitment of the EU to the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as shared capital of the two states – the State of Israel and the State of Palestine”. However, it remains questionable whether the EU has the necessary gravitas to play a catalytic political role in the peace process. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Can Mahmoud Abbas achieve anything in Europe?

Respondents: Jonathan Schanzer, Alon Ben-Meir, Roland Freudenstein, Azriel Bermant, and Tsilla Hershco

 Jonathan Schanzer, Senior Vice President, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Washington DC

Mahmoud Abbas has already gained quite a lot from the Europeans. He has the sympathies of the EU and the support of its Middle East negotiators. This was evident during the Obama years, as European leaders lined up behind the American president as he engaged in a campaign to isolate Israel for its settlement policy in the West Bank. It was also evident throughout Abbas’s stop-and-go “Palestine 194” campaign, during which the aging Palestinian leader sought and gained unofficial recognition of statehood at the General Assembly and a host of other UN agencies.

However, there is a limit to how much leverage Abbas can gain from Europe. This was as true during the Obama years as it is with the new administration. Abbas is learning that now as he courts the Europeans for support amidst an increasingly bitter spat with the White House over Palestinian Authority funding and transparency. The White House has the Palestinians on their heels, and the Europeans simply don’t wield enough power to change that dynamic. The more Abbas looks to the Europeans for help, the more power he is likely to lose. In the end, Washington always trumps Brussels.

Alon Ben-Meir, Professor and Senior Fellow at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs and Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute, New York

The relationship between the EU and the PA has by and large been very positive, especially because the EU has been and continues to be the largest financial contributor to the PA. Moreover, the EU has always supported the two-state solution and has been openly critical of the occupation and the Israeli settlements, which it considers a major obstacle to peace.

Due to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Abbas wrongly concluded that the US can no longer be a neutral interlocutor, which flies in the face of the reality that the US is the only country that can exact any meaningful concession from Israel to achieve peace.

Moreover, whereas the EU is sympathetic to the Palestinian stance, it can do very little to change the dynamic of the peace process on its own. Hence, it is unrealistic for the PA to hope that the EU can revive the peace negotiations, particularly because the EU has limited sway over Israel. Abbas’s requests for the European community to recognize the Palestinian state may sway some nations to do so, but that would only harden the Israeli position.

Hence, Abbas’s decision to sidestep the US will simply go nowhere. He will have to come to the table sooner or later knowing that America’s role in the peace process has been, and will continue to be, indispensable.

Roland Freudenstein, Policy Director, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, Brussels

Certainly, President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has led many in Europe to side more openly with the Palestinian Authority (PA), if only to spite Trump. In that respect, it made sense for PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to visit Europe in a renewed push to get more EU member states, and maybe the EU as a whole, to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state. Alas, there are still too many in Europe who see the futility of such a recognition in the absence of a peace agreement. Such an agreement would have to include not only two sovereign states, but also comprehensive security guarantees for Israel – after several wars of annihilation waged against it from Palestinian territory as well as from neighboring Arab states.

But if there is no recognition by the whole EU, Abbas asked European leaders, could there be at least an association agreement between the EU and the PA? This again was answered negatively by most EU leaders (with the notable exception of France) precisely because Palestine is not a sovereign state, and the PA is barely in control of the West Bank and certainly not of Gaza under Hamas. So, for the moment, the only thing Abbas might have achieved is a push to increase EU financial assistance to the PA – with the well-known problems of massive corruption and incitement to terrorism which are endemic in the PA. Quite an achievement, Mr. Abbas!

Azriel Bermant, Historian and Lecturer in International Relations at Tel Aviv University and at the Rothberg International School, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Author of Margaret Thatcher and the Middle East(2016, Cambridge University Press)

In the wake of President Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, it is understandable that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would head for Europe to shore up his position.  The Palestinians snubbed US VP Mike Pence during his recent trip to the Middle East, and have declared that the Americans will no longer have an exclusive role to play as a mediator. The Europeans will do what they can to save the two-state solution, and Abbas traveled to Europe well aware that he would receive the red carpet treatment. During his meeting with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in Brussels, Abbas pleaded for EU member states to recognize a Palestinian state. Slovenia may be about to do so.

If several EU member states take such a step, this would provide a short-term morale boost for the Palestinian leader. However, EU member states are divided on Israel/Palestine and Mogherini would be well aware that no progress is possible without constructive American leadership. This is in short supply at present. Europe will be unable to improve the prospects for Palestinian independence and drive negotiations forward when the minimal demands of Israelis and Palestinians are unbridgeable and the US president is busy sabotaging his own supposed deal of the century to end the conflict between Israelis and the Palestinians.

Tsilla Hershco, Research Associate, BESA Center, Bar-Ilan University

Over the years, Europe has gradually supported the upgrade of the status of the Palestinian Authority.  For instance, Europe supported Abbas’s unilateral request to grant the Palestinian Authority non-member observer state status at the UN General Assembly (November 2012).  Europe has systematically and one-sidedly condemned Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria as a major factor in undermining the peace process, while ignoring the Palestinians’ incitements and acts of terror as a major factor that led to a deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Recently Europe unequivocally supported Abbas’s denunciation of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

It is reasonable to assume that Europe will continue to provide economic and political support to the Palestinians as this support remains one of the few areas of agreement among the member states, who are divided on numerous major issues such as the common budget, common defense policy, immigration, counter-terrorism, etc. Concurrently, there are still prospects that France’s President Emmanuel Macron will continue to oppose unilateral moves regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Macron’s opposition to unilateral steps is significant due to his growing influence within the EU. In addition, Eastern European countries that maintain close ties with Israel are likely to oppose extreme unilateral moves such as supporting Abbas’s demand for the UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

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My son is now on a Mid-Eastern cuisine kick.

He recorded what we assumed would be a travel / dining piece on CNN that was touted as a tour of “Israeli, West Bank and Gazan” dishes.

It’s a series entitled “Parts Unknown” with chef Anthony Bourdain.

Bourdain is from New York and born to a Jewish mother but prides himself on being an atheist.

His “time” spent on Israeli food consists of a blink and is more concerned with “settlements” and mugging for the camera at the Kotel about his atheism before winding up in the Armenian Quarter.

Palestinian food evidently never comes served without a heaping side dish of anti-Israeli propaganda and complaints of oppression and occupation.

Bourdain never passes up an opportunity to put Israelis on the spot yet never questions Palestinian claims of suffering as the food piles high.

The only lack of food was in a segment on female Palestinian motorcycle racers who are upset that they can’t get into Jerusalem to race.

My son expertly pointed out that the show was bullshit.

I told him that’s what you get for watching CNN.

Hey Tony – now the Pal-abs know that you are Yahoud.

Next time you film an episode in some exotic locale eating the local fare, don’t choke on the bones.

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And this will be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the peoples that make war against Jerusalem (JEWS).

Their flesh shall rot away while they stand upon their feet,

Their eyes shall rot away in their sockets,

And their tongues shall rot away in their mouths.

Zechariah 14:12

 

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Excerpt from Jerusalem Post:

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the root cause of Mideast instability, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Sunday, a day after Fabius said it was perhaps the central issue in the region.

“The root of the area’s instability,” Netanyahu said in a public statement made alongside Fabius before the two met in Jerusalem, “is the regional rejection of modernity, moderation, progress and political solutions.”

“I say that because for too long people believed that the root cause of this instability in the Middle East was the Palestinian-Israeli problem. It is not the root cause; it’s one of its results,” he said.

“If we have peace with the Palestinians, the centrifuges will not stop spinning in Iran, the turmoil will not stop in Syria, the instability in North Africa will not cease, the attacks on the West will not cease,” he added.

Amen, Bibi!

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I have always contended that the high minded folks intent on saving the world and who have determined that the biggest threat to world peace; the gravest injustice on the planet; the situation that screams for their righteous intervention; the Israeli “occupation” of “Palestine”, are not interested in peace or justice, but have singled out Israel because it’s Jewish.  The following re-print lays out just how full of shit these anti-Semite scum bubbles really are.

‘Europe wants new Berlin Wall in the middle of Jerusalem’

By Boaz Bismuth

Syria is disintegrating, Egypt is collapsing, Iran is on evasive maneuvers, but Israeli settlements are preventing Europe from sleeping well at night.

It is rather embarrassing to see former great empires conspiring together today like some beacon of morality. When they have no ability to influence, they choose the second option, which is to get in the way. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s (welcome) initiative was joined this week by Europe’s (obstructive) initiative.

The Europeans’ inferiority complex is what caused a small group of clerks in Brussels to formulate a complex legal document, which determines that future agreements with Israel will not apply beyond the 1967 lines.

The report was compiled in the European Commission’s Middle East department headed by Christian Berger, an Austrian diplomat who for the past few years was the EU envoy in the Palestinian territories. That is also, presumably, where he learned to be objective.

Berger does not understand how grand old Europe is unable to cast influence on the most important conflict in the world. He is surely wondering how the EU, which gives so much money to the region, does not receive anything in return. “We want to influence, not just spend,” he is probably saying to himself. He is forgetting, however, that Israel does not only receive, but also pays partner fees for research and development projects. It is the other side which only receives money.

The report goes much farther than the 2012 declaration by EU foreign ministers upon which it is based. The EU ministers at the time took a very abstract position, which Berger is translating into practical, operative, and legal terms. It is no surprise that several European capitals yesterday could not understand what all the fuss in Jerusalem was about.

On Monday, the EU’s foreign ministers are expected to meet again. The Czech Republic, Holland, Germany, Bulgaria and Romania are likely to question whether this was a smart move considering Kerry’s current push in the region. In contrast, countries like Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, Austria and Spain are expected to welcome the policy.

Christian Berger decided to solve “the occupation problem.” We can suggest to him that on Monday he also take a swing at solving Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus; Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara; the Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan that is occupied by Armenia; Russia, which is occupying South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia; the Japanese-occupied Coral Islands; not to mention the significant Russian settlement between Poland and Latvia, known as Kaliningrad.

We also have not forgotten Russia’s military occupation in portions of the Finnish Karelia province. And China occupies Tibet and Indonesia occupies West Papua, and Pakistan refuses to accept Indian sovereignty in Kashmir.

We have yet to mention the issues that the EU does find interesting: The Falkland Islands (British) dispute with Argentina; the problems in New Caledonia (France); British control of Gibraltar on Spanish soil; the residents of Greenland, who seek independence from Denmark; and also Morocco’s frustration at Spain, which controls two cities on Moroccan soil, Ceuta and Melia, as if Morocco was still part of Spain.

This is what we liberated from the Nazis?

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Why Won’t President Obama’s Press Spokesman Jay Carney Identify Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital?

Carny: A slang term used to describe an American carnival employee as well as the language they employ. A “carny” is anyone who runs a “joint” (booth), “grab joint” (food stand), game, ride at a carnival, boardwalk, amusement park, or Obama white house press secretary dais.

It’s monkey-business as usual in the Obama camp: Boundless arrogance, illegal activities, lies, cloaked liberal anti-Semitism, disregard for the American people, disregard for US Foreign Policy, leaks of top secret intelligence information, and spending our tax dollars like drunken sailors at a Shanghai brothel.

So, who wants four more years of this kind of shit?

Go ahead, raise your hands.

Now, slap the living shit out of yourselves for putting this criminal and anti-American regime in the white house to begin with.
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Related articles

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It’s said that the “truth will set you free,” but when an intrepid Israeli reporter browbeat Dr. Daniel Brown (name has been changed) into going public five years ago, the aftermath was traumatic. “I had always been open about my identity with both my family and friends,” he recalls, “and no one had ever been less than supportive and warm. But this particular Israeli newspaper misrepresented its agenda to me. I didn’t know that it intended to publicize or sensationalize my interview the way it ultimately did. The story was printed in the weekend edition of the paper, and all day long on Thursday and erev Shabbat radio commercials continually blasted every 15 minutes: Hitler’s nephew’s grandson — right here in Israel — and a Jew! The repercussions left my family shaken.”

Brown’s sons — enrolled in a modern Orthodox yeshivah in Jerusalem — were spat upon by several of their classmates and called “Nazis.” A handful of neighbors studiously avoided Brown when they encountered him on the street. And in shul the Shabbat after the story aired, a number of social acquaintances who normally greeted him with hearty handshakes turned the other way. }} more…

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A Letter to the World from Jerusalem

Many people seem confused about the Mid East situation.
This should clear it up for you.

by Eliezer Ben Yisrael

I am not a creature from another planet, as you seem to believe. I am a Jerusalemite – like yourselves, a man of flesh and blood. I am a citizen of my city, an integral part of my people.

I have a few things to get off my chest. Because I am not a diplomat, I do not have to mince words. I do not have to please you, or even persuade you. I owe you nothing. You did not build this city; you did not live in it; you did not defend it when they came to destroy it. And we will be damned if we will let you take it away.

There was a Jerusalem before there was a New York. When Berlin, Moscow, London, and Paris were miasmal forest and swamp, there was a thriving Jewish community here. It gave something to the world which you nations have rejected ever since you established yourselves – a humane moral code. (more…)

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Happy Thanksgiving

Wait no longer for the Antichrist, for the Antichrist has come. In II Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul told that the coming of the Messiah would be preceded by the revelation of the Antichrist who would come and sit in the Temple of God posing as God.

Well folks, that’s already happened! Jesus came. He went to the Temple. And thanks to 1.5 billion believers, without a doubt we can say he was the false one, the one who thousands of millions would falsely believe was God, or God’s son, or whatever.

It took almost 2,000 years, but now the believers are beginning to see their mistake. How they twisted the words of the Hebrew Bible to mean something different, and how they turned Jesus into something he wasn’t.

Now we see the “Christ” was actually the Antichrist.

This is good news!

For this news we should all give thanks.

Hence, Thanksgiving.

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Do you know what the land was like before the Jews decided to return to the Land of Israel? The French traveler Volney visited from 1783-1785 when Gaza had no more than 2,000 inhabitants. Jerusalem had between 12,000 and 14,000 inhabitants. Safed was practically a deserted village.

Buckingham visited in 1816 and said Jaffa “has all the appearances of a poor village, and every part of it that we saw was of corresponding meanness.” Ramalleh, “Where, as throughout the greater part of Palestine, the ruined portion seemed more extensive than that which was inhabited.” Describing how the Arabs lived, he said they “live by robbery and plunder, which form their chief and most gainful occupation.”

In 1827 a German encyclopedia called Palestine desolate and where “bands of robbers” roamed.

In 1840 Olin wrote that the once populated area between Hebron and Bethlehem is “now abandoned and desolate” and has “dilapidated towns.”

After visiting Lydda, Napier said “the greatest poverty, misery, and disease appeared to prevail.”

There were still Jews living there. And there were Christians. In the 1840s, while Jews still constituted the majority of Jerusalem’s population, about 3,500 Christians lived there too. Arabs didn’t start moving to Israel in large numbers until the Zionist movement brought in large numbers of Jews who created jobs, health care and all kinds of opportunities. Many of the Arabs who came then had theft on the brain. They planned to steal everything worth stealing from the Jews. Although it took them a while, in time the Arabs even decided the land was worth stealing. And even though Gaza was their de facto capitol, now, they want to take Jerusalem from the Jews and make it their capitol. No doubt Mohammed would be proud, for the assassination, terror and larceny that he taught, is alive and well among his many followers. Even the richest Arabs take pride in robbing us each time we fill our gas tanks. Unfortunately Muslims have no shame.

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