Daily TIP

Israel has a history of offering peace to Palestinians and then being rejected

Posted by Tip Staff - December 28, 2016


 

In a speech at the State Department on Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry cast the majority of the blame on the lack of Israeli-Palestinian peace on the Israelis, ignoring Israel’s history of repeatedly making risky overtures for peace with the Palestinians, only to receive terrorism in response.
Israelis voted in Labor’s Ehud Barak to the premiership in 1999 specifically because he promised to make peace with the Palestinians; in 2000, he met with then-PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at Camp David and offered the Palestinians 92% of the West Bank, all of the Gaza Strip, and eastern Jerusalem as its capital. Israel even proposed that a maximum of 100,000 refugees would be allowed to return to Israel on the basis of humanitarian considerations or family reunification, and an international fund would be created to compensate the Palestinians. Arafat rejected the offer. Sweetening the deal, the Clinton administration suggested that the Palestinians control 97% of the West Bank and the entirety of the Gaza Strip, with a land-link between the two, as well as a capital in East Jerusalem. Barak endorsed the Clinton Parameters; again, Arafat rejected them. After having rejected Israeli peace offers at Camp David with no counter-offers of his own, Arafat chose to launch the murderous Second Intifada, killing more than 1,500 Israelis between 2000 and 2005.
In 2005, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, only for that territory to be taken over by Hamas in a Palestinian civil war in 2007. Ever since, Hamas has used the Strip as a base from which to launch attacks on Israelis, using rockets and underground tunnels, and Gazans live under the grip of Hamas’ authoritarian rule.
In 2008, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 93.7% of the West Bank; the remaining 6.3% would be made up with land swaps. He also offered to take in 5,000 refugees over five years; an international committee to oversee Jerusalem’s holy sites; and an international fund consisting of billions of dollars, administered by Norwegians, to compensate Palestinian refugees. In a May 2009 interview with The Washington Post, Abbas admitted that he had turned down the offer and said, “The gaps were wide.”
The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to an unprecedented 10-month freeze in settlement construction in November 2009 only for the Palestinians to say it was insufficient and then call for an extension when it expired. Netanyahu said he would do so if the Palestinian Authority recognized Israel as the Jewish state; the PA refused.
When the Obama administration proposed a framework for a peace agreement in 2013, the Netanyahu government accepted it, while the Palestinians turned it down. Even still, Israel was willing to talk with the Palestinian Authority, until Fatah and Hamas announced a unity government in April 2014. Hamas refuses to reject violence and terror against Israel and Israel refuses to negotiate with it. The Palestinians adopted a policy of trying to skirt direct negotiations and internationalizing the conflict via the United Nations and other international fora.

The House of Representatives’ second-leading Democrat publicly and preemptively criticized Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday, stating that Kerry’s scheduled speech on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations should not break with the longstanding U.S. policy that terms for an agreement can only come through bilateral negotiations.
The statement by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D – Md.) warned Kerry that laying out parameters for an acceptable deal “flies in the face of the United States’s longstanding position that such a formulation should be reached only through negotiations by the parties and not by the United States, the United Nations, or any other third party.” Doing this, he added, would “inevitably disadvantage Israel in any negotiation.”
He also criticized the Obama administration for failing to veto an anti-Israel United Nations Security Council resolution on Friday, saying that because of the vote, “Israel’s enemies were strengthened.”
Hoyer harshly criticized the resolution before and after it was passed, as did many other top Democratic leaders. “Anyone who cares about the future of Israel and peace in the region knows that the U.N., with its one-sidedness, is exactly the wrong forum to bring about peace,” incoming Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) said before the vote.
 

 

Next year, the Israeli army will launch its fourth mixed battalion of male and female soldiers, as reported by an article in The Wall Street Journal. Israel’s military became one of the first worldwide to allow women into combat positions and has since opened 85% of roles to females—including combat roles in the air force, artillery and intelligence.
“If she can do the mission, we don’t care if she has a pony tail or doesn’t have a ponytail,” said Lt. Col. Oshrat Bachar, an adviser to the military’s senior leadership on gender affairs and the first woman to lead a battalion.
Three years after declaring statehood in 1948, Israel passed legislation guaranteeing women the right to live in dignity, including providing equality in work, education, health and social welfare. Since then, Israeli society has undertaken many steps to advance the status of women. As a result, women have progressed in multiple spheres of Israeli life, such as politicseconomicseducation, the domestic realm and, of course, the military.

 
Humans listening in on bat conversations may hear a cacophony of similar sounds but a new study by Tel Aviv University researchers shows that these flying mammals are actually a socially sophisticated species that learns communication. “When you enter a bat cave, you hear a lot of ‘gibberish,’ a cacophony of aggressive bat noise – but is this merely ‘shouting’ or is there information amid the noise,” said lead researcher Prof. Yossi Yovel, of the Department of Zoology at TAU’s Faculty of Life Sciences. “Previous research presumed that most bat communication was based on screaming and shouting. We wanted to know how much information was actually conveyed — and we wanted to see if we could, in fact, extract that information.” Yovel and fellow researchers show in their study – recently published in Scientific Reports  –that there is concrete evidence that bats learn communication rather than being born with a fixed set of communication skills.(via Israel21c)


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