The Third Intifada Is Here
The third intifada is already here, and it is being waged against Israel not on the streets of Gaza and Ramallah, but in the international arena.
This is a Diplomatic Intifada, aimed at rallying the world against Israel in the hope of forcing it to accept all of the Palestinian Authority's demands, first and foremost a full withdrawal to the pre-1967 armistice lines.
Palestinian officials are saying that even if their application for statehood membership in the UN Security Council fails, they will pursue the battle in the UN General Assembly, where the chances of success are guaranteed.
The Palestinian Authority has reached the conclusion that there is no point in continuing the negotiations with Israel because no Israeli government could give the Palestinians everything they want.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has decided that it is better to negotiate with the UN than with Israel.
He is hoping that the UN will grant him what Israel is refusing to give at the negotiating table.
Palestinian Authority officials are hoping that international pressure will force Israel to its knees. They point out that similar measures forced Apartheid South Africa to eventually succumb to the will of the international community.
Success at the General Assembly, they explain, would pave the way for Palestinian membership in countless UN organizations and agencies, including the International Criminal Court and the World Health Organization.
Once the Palestinian Authority gains membership in these bodies, it is planning to launch a massive diplomatic campaign aimed at isolating Israel in the international arena. The ultimate goal is to seek Israel's expulsion from most UN bodies on the grounds that it is refusing to comply with UN resolutions concerning the Israeli-Arab conflict.
The Palestinian Authority says it wants to use its newly acquired membership in UNESCO to file a number of lawsuits against Israel in international courts and forums for alleged theft and destruction of archeological sites and antiquities in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority also says it wants to accuse Israel of "changing and destroying the Arab and Islamic character and culture of Jerusalem and various holy sites in the city. "
Palestinian Authority representatives say they are also planning to seek a series of punitive measures against Israel in the international arena. One of the ideas being floated around in Ramallah is to seek the prosecution of hundreds of Israelis for alleged war crimes against Palestinians over the past few decades.
Talking to Palestinian officials in Ramallah, one is left with the impression that the Palestinian Authority is out to punish Israel more than achieve a state for its people.
The Palestinian Authority's new intifada against Israel in the international arena is only widening the gap and increasing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. Many Israelis feel that Abbas is trying to push them against the wall by launching a worldwide campaign against Israel.
Abbas now risks losing the sympathy of a majority of Israelis who support the two-state solution and are ready for far-reaching concessions to the Palestinians. But the Palestinian leader clearly does not care anymore about what Israelis think and that explains why this week he told reporters in his office: "I will continue with the statehood bid at the UN and I don't care about anyone."
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|Palestinian excess [85 words]||Bob Powelson||Dec 14, 2011 16:27|
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by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Pierre Rehov
For terrorists, the death of innocent children is irrelevant. In a society that promotes martyrdom as the ultimate sign of success, the death of innocent children can sometimes even be seen as a public relations blessing.
In every action, intent is paramount. There should never be a moral equivalence painted between the deliberate killing of civilians, and a retaliation that tragically leads to casualties among civilians.
There is, however, one small difference: in the Middle East, reporters are threatened, except in Israel. Their choice becomes a simple one: promote the Palestinian point of view or stop working in the West Bank. Keep the eye of the camera dirty or lose your job. This show should not go on.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
Since 1948, the Arab countries and government have been paying mostly lip service to the Palestinians.
"They have money and oil, but don't care about the Palestinians, even though we are Arabs and Muslims like them. What a Saudi or Qatari sheikh spends in one night in London, Paris or Las Vegas could solve the problem of tens of thousands of Palestinians." — Palestinian human rights activist.
"Some Arabs were hoping that Israel would rid them of Hamas." — Ashraf Salameh, Gaza City.
"Some of the Arab regimes are interested in getting rid of the resistance in order to remove the burden of the Palestinian cause, which threatens the stability of their regimes." — Mustafa al-Sawwaf, Palestinian political analyst.
"Most Arabs are busy these days with bloody battles waged by their leaders, who are struggling to survive. These battles are raging in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and the Palestinian Authority." — Mohammed al-Musafer, columnist.
"The Arab leaders don't know what they want from the Gaza Strip. They don't even know what they want from Israel." — Yusef Rizka, Hamas official.
by Soeren Kern
European elites, who take pride in viewing the EU as a "postmodern" superpower, have long argued that military hard-power is illegitimate in the 21st century. Unfortunately for Europe, Russia (along with China and Iran) has not embraced the EU's fantastical soft-power worldview, in which "climate change" is now said to pose the greatest threat to European security.
For its part, the European Commission, the EU's administrative branch, which never misses an opportunity to boycott institutions in Israel, has issued only a standard statement on the shooting down of MH17 in Ukraine, which reads: "The European Union will continue to follow this issue very closely."
The EU has made only half-hearted attempts to develop alternatives to its dependency on Russian oil and gas.
by Shoshana Bryen
Proportionality in international law is not about equality of death or civilian suffering, or even about [equality of] firepower. Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against suffering that the action might cause to enemy civilians in the vicinity.
"Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable does not constitute a war crime.... even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality)." — Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court.
"The greater the military advantage anticipated, the larger the amount of collateral damage -- often civilian casualties -- which will be "justified" and "necessary." — Dr. Françoise Hampton, University of Essex, UK.