Daily TIP

Netanyahu: Abbas should come to the Knesset, would “gladly” address Palestinian parliament

Posted by Tip Staff - September 22, 2016


 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to address the Knesset and said he would “gladly” speak to the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah in his speech Thursday at the United Nations General Assembly. He addressed Abbas, who spoke at the same podium earlier, “You have a choice to make. You can continue to stoke hatred, as you did today. Or you can confront hatred and work with me to establish peace between our two nations.” Netanyahu affirmed that he is “committed to a vision of peace based on two states for two peoples” and that “Israel is ready to negotiate all final status issues.”
Confronting Abbas’ strategy of working around bilateral negotiations and preferring unilateral measures at the UN and other international fora, Netanyahu said that “the road to peace is through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York.” He praised Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi for his suggestion that Egypt serve a mediating role in talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. He continued, “Israel welcomes the spirit of the Arab peace initiative and welcomes a dialogue with Arab states to advance a broader peace. I believe that for that broader peace to be fully achieved the Palestinians have to be part of it. I'm ready to begin negotiations to achieve this today – not tomorrow, not next week, today.”
On the other hand, earlier in the day, Abbas continued with his unilateral, international strategy and requested an international conference that would create a “mechanism and defined timeframe for an end to the occupation” and excoriated “the notorious Balfour Declaration,” for which he demanded an apology from Great Britain in addition to its need to bear “its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibilities for the consequences of the Declaration.” Abbas also accused Israel, falsely, of committing “aggressions and provocations against our Christian and Muslim holy sites, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque.” If Israel continued in this vein, he warned, it would be “playing with fire.”

 

Eleanor Sharpston, one of ten advisors to the European Union’s Court of Justice, believes that Hamas is not a terror group—and is advising the EU to follow suit. She asked the high court to take Hamas off the EU’s terror list on Thursday.
“The Council cannot rely on facts and evidence found in press articles and information from the internet, rather than in decisions of competent authorities,” according to an official summary of Advocate General Sharpston’s remarks. Her argument is reminiscent of a decision made in 2014 by the second-highest EU court to strike Hamas from its terror list: the basis for the listing comes from unreliable sources.
The United States declared Hamas to be a foreign terrorist organization in 1997. Making the list includes partaking in “violent acts or acts dangerous to human life” and affecting “the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping”—criteria Hamas easily meets. Hamas has “fired thousands of rockets deliberately or indiscriminately at civilian areas” resulting in multiple deaths of Israeli civilians. Hamas has claimed responsibility for dozens of terror attacks over the years, perhaps most notoriously  a suicide bombing at a hotel during a Passover Seder in 2002 that killed 30 people. Its leaders regularly applaud operations that kill innocent civilians; attackers are frequently lauded as “martyrs”.

 

Iran is working tirelessly to expand its influence in the Arab world, from the Persian Gulf to the Red and Mediterranean Seas, former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri wrote in the pages of The New York Times on Thursday. Hezbollah, Iran’s terrorist proxy in Lebanon, has been successful in creating a “devastating gridlock on the country’s government in order to blackmail the citizenry into accepting its demands.” Just this week, a senior Hezbollah official acknowledged that the group has been blocking the appointment of a new Lebanese president (Lebanon has lacked a president since 2014). Hezbollah has also sent its fighters to Syria to fight alongside the “odious regime” of Bashar al-Assad, who “with the help of Iran; its Revolutionary Guards and its proxies; Hezbollah and militias and Iraq and Afghanistan – has created the worst refugee problem since World War II, ruthlessly displacing millions of people into neighboring countries and Europe.”
Hariri reminded the world of Hezbollah’s (and by extension, Iran’s) terrorist attacks against Americans, specifying the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, which killed 241 people. Indeed, Hezbollah is responsible for killing more Americans than any terrorist group other than Al Qaeda. The former prime minister also expressed dire concern about Iran’s support for the Houthi rebellion in Yemen and Shiite militias in Iraq, some of which have committed atrocities against Sunni civilians and were responsible for the killing hundreds of U.S. troops.
Because of Lebanon’s long experience of dealing with Hezbollah, the Lebanese people are all too aware that “Iran wants to expand its influence in the Middle East by sowing discord, promoting terrorism and sectarian hatred, and destabilizing the region through proxies, while pretending to be bystanders.” Iran has begun to openly proclaim its involvement in the Syrian civil war, where it has backed Bashar al-Assad to the hilt in his onslaught against the Syrian people. During the Syrian civil war, the Assad regime has carried out the indiscriminate murder of civilians through the use of barrel bombsmassacres, intentional and systematic starvation, and chemical weapon attacks. The Assad regime has also purposefully targeted schools and medical facilities.
Saad Hariri’s father Rafik was assassinated in Beirut in 2005 while serving as Lebanon’s prime minister. Four Hezbollah members, who remain at large, were indicted for carrying out the attack. A UN investigator found senior Syrian officials to have been implicated in the assassination; massive demonstrations by Lebanese citizens led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, which Syria had militarily occupied for nearly 30 years.

 

Israelis and Australians have decided to commemorate their friendship in an exciting new festival: Ozraeli. The event – which lasts for a week – celebrates the strong bonds between the two nations with fun activities ranging from an Australian gala event in Jaffa to an Australian-Israeli soccer game in Tel Aviv.
Currently around 12,000 Israelis visit Australia each year, compared to 35,000 Aussies who visit Israel. Ynet reports that a new direct flight between Tel Aviv and Sydney may be underway to further the connection.


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