Peace talks premature. Donald Trump recently appointed his son-in-law Jared Kushner to “broker a Middle East peace deal”—an impossible task given current Palestinian division. An op-ed published in Politico Tuesday entitled “Jared Kushner Needs a Wingman” suggested that another envoy may be needed to mend the rift in Palestinian politics.
“The U.S. needs someone to first broker a peace deal between the Palestinians themselves,” wrote Jonathan Schanzer, author of Hamas vs Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine. He called the Palestinian internecine conflict a “bipartisan blind spot.”
One of the key tenets of viable statehood is being able to hold a monopoly on violence—meaning the government must be able to police its own state. Given that the Palestinians are currently divided between Palestinian Authority control in the West Bank and Hamas leadership in Gaza, a Palestinian state implemented tomorrow would likely be destined to fail. Consequences would befall Palestinians and Israelis alike.
What a bargain. It is no secret that Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid—an investment with enormous dividends. An article published in Commentary Tuesday called the arrangement “cheap at the price” for its enormous return.
Topping the list of benefits is intelligence. Last July Haaretz reported that in the battle against ISIS, “According to Western intelligence sources, Israel has supplied more intelligence to its allies than any other intelligence organization.” Other advantages include “combat testing of weapons systems and ensuring beneficial modifications.” A staggering 10-15% of ever new F-16 made in America consists of Israeli systems, and they include over 600 modifications introduced by Israel.
Perhaps most notably is the stipulation that the vast majority of aid money to Israel must be spent at United States companies, making nearly every dollar given to Israel essentially a boon to the at home economy.
The real evil. More than 450 Palestinians were tortured to death in Syrian prisons since the outbreak of that country’s civil war, with 1,100 others remaining in regime custody and thousands fleeing abroad, veteran Palestinian affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh reported on Monday.
Abu Toameh observed that while numerous foreign journalists are eager to report on Palestinians living in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, the same media outlets “seem to prefer turning a blind eye to the plight of Palestinians living in Arab countries.”
This oversight “harms first and foremost the Palestinians themselves and allows Arab governments to continue their policies of persecution and repression,” he wrote. “Palestinians in Syria are being murdered, tortured, imprisoned and displaced. The West yawns.”
More than 3,400 Palestinians have been killed over the course of the Syrian civil war, according to a report published by the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria. “[Nearly] 80,000 Palestinians have fled to Europe, while 31,000 fled to Lebanon, 17,000 to Jordan, 6,000 to Egypt, 8,000 to Turkey and 1,000 to the Gaza Strip,” the report added. Almost 200 Palestinians were said to have died of starvation or malnutrition due to sieges perpetrated by the Assad regime.
Hundreds of foreign delegations, representatives of multinational corporations and foreign investors are heading to Tel Aviv for this year’s Cybertech 2017 conference, set for January 30-February 1 at the Israel Trade Fairs & Convention Center. Cybertech in Tel Aviv is the second-largest conference and exhibition of cyber technologies in the world. Prominent international speakers in the field of cybersecurity will present alongside an exhibition hosting over 250 companies and 100 startups showing innovative problem-solving strategies and solutions to challenges faced by sectors including finance, defense, transportation, utilities, R&D, energy, manufacturing, service sectors, health, media, government, and more. The latest cyber-related technological developments will the focus of the event. (via Israel21c)