PA security coperates with Israel

The Hush-Hush Deal That Keeps the Middle East From Exploding

 

02.12.18

 

Posted in Islam, Judaism, Middle East Report, Opinion, Recent Posts | Comments Off on PA security coperates with Israel

Trump’s Middle East

nationalreview.com

Donald Trump’s Middle East Policy Breaks Status Quo. Good.


President Donald Trump has promised that in the Middle East under his presidency, “there are many things that can happen now that would never have happened before.” Two speeches of the last ten days offer dramatic confirmation of the emerging reconfiguration of America’s relationship with Israel and the Middle East under his leadership.

In a two-hour speech before the Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) last week, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, denounced the British, Dutch, French, and Americans for having conspired, ever since the 1650s, to create a Jewish colonial outpost that would “erase the Palestinians from Palestine.” As Abbas tells it, all this reached a climax on the eve of World War I, when the West realized that it was on the verge of collapse and that the Islamic world was “poised to inherit European civilization.” To put an end to this threat, the Western nations went about carving up the Muslim world so that it would be forever “divided, backward, and engulfed in infighting.” As for the United States, it has been “playing games” of this sort ever since then, importing, for example, the disastrous Arab Spring into Middle East.

Abbas summed up by demanding an apology and reparations from Britain for the Balfour Declaration and denying that the United States can serve as a mediator in the Mideast. Finally, he went to the trouble of cursing both President Trump and the U.S. Congress: Yehrab beitak (“May your house be razed”), he said.

I have been following the speeches of the PLO and its supporters in the Arab world for 30 years. Nothing here is new. These are the same things that Yasser Arafat, Abbas, and the mainline PLO  leadership have always believed. It is a worldview that reflects an abiding hatred for the West, blaming Christians and Jews not only for the founding of Israel but for every calamity that has befallen the Muslim and Arab world for centuries.

What should be one’s policy toward an organization committed to such an ideology? One option is to sympathize with the shame and outrage to which the PLO gives voice, and to try to mitigate it with grants of territory, authority, prestige, and large-scale ongoing funding. American administrations have pursued this option, seeking to make a peace partner out of the PLO, since President Ronald Reagan announced a dialogue with it in December 1988. Israel, too, has pursued this option, since 1993.

President Trump’s 8 Biggest Accomplishments

But in the ensuing 30 years of talk, the only major agreements signed have been those the PLO leadership could find a way to fit into its narrative: Agreements such as the 1993 Oslo Accords, which could be portrayed as inflicting a bitter defeat on Israel and the West — and as a step on the road to ultimate triumph.

President Trump, Vice President Pence, and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley are pioneering an alternative policy, which can be summed up in Haley’s words: “We’re not going to pay to be abused.” If players like the PLO, North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran (hopefully, Turkey gets added to this list soon) want to cultivate a civilizational hatred of America, double-talking while they give aid to global terrorism and conjure diplomatic scandals at the U.N. — well, then they don’t get to be allies. They don’t get funded. They don’t get grants of land, authority, and prestige. Those things will be reserved for actual allies.

In a speech before the PLO last week, Mahmoud Abbas expressed the familiar worldview marked by hatred for the West, blaming Christians and Jews for every calamity that has befallen the Muslim and Arab world for centuries.


What this looks like was already on display when Trump became the first serving U.S. president to visit the kotel (the Western Wall) in Jerusalem in May, shredding the longstanding diplomatic taboo against making it look as though the holiest site in Judaism is in fact part of the State of Israel. Since then, Trump and Haley have taken on UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, which regularly disseminate the PLO’s view of history and current affairs. The Trump administration has cut in half America’s massive financial support of UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East), an organization whose purpose is to maintain generations of unabsorbed descendants of Palestinian Arab refugees, inculcating them in Abbas-style grievances against Israel and the West.

Mike Pence’s address on Monday to Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, continued this trajectory. But he also responded to Abbas’s history lesson with some tasteful but potent narrative-weaving of his own. In addition to the traditional script pointing to the shared interests of the United States and Israel as democracies, Pence emphasized that it was significant to him as an American that “our founders turned to the Hebrew Bible for direction” in establishing their country and that Israel’s story “inspired my forebears to create . . . a new birth of freedom.” He returned repeatedly to the way in which the story of the Jewish people holding fast to God’s promise to return them to their land “shows the power of faith.” Pence even said the traditional Jewish shehehianu blessing (in Hebrew!), thanking God for bringing us to see this day in which the Jewish people have been restored to their land.

On policy, Pence said that Trump “righted a 70-year wrong” in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and that the U.S. embassy would be in the city “by the end of next year.” He promised Israel that “the United states will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.” As for the PLO, Pence gave eloquent and persuasive voice to his country’s desire for peace. But his bottom line also marked a significant shift from previous American administrations: The U.S., Pence said, would support a PLO state “if both sides agree.” In other words,  whether there will be such a state is Israel’s call to make. Which puts American policy light years away from the heyday of George W. Bush’s “road map,” and his breathy “vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace.”

For a change, there was no daylight between the views Pence outlined in the Knesset and those of his Israeli hosts. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem would go down in Jewish history together with the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and Truman’s recognition of Israel in 1948. Isaac Herzog (Labor), the leader of the opposition,  pointed out that it is “the love of the Bible that connects us to one another.” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) spoke of the Jewish state “fulfilling the words of the prophets” and of “the United States, more than any other country in the world, as Israel’s faithful partner” in this effort.

As for the curses that Abbas called down on President Trump’s house, the Israelis responded by blessing him: Netanyahu told Pence it is “our deepest hope that President Trump and you will succeed in strengthening the United States, . . . so that America will continue to be the greatest power in the world for generations to come.” And Edelstein said that from Israel he would only hear the blessing Bneh Beitcha (“May your house be built up”).

There is no shortage of commentators saying that this embrace of Israel is only going to harm the prospects for peace in the Middle East. That view reflects the consensus in Washington before President Trump got there. For long decades, Washington has crafted policies based on the tacit assumption that America needs the PLO if it is to bring peace to the Middle East. In its effort to “balance” the demands of this extremist organization against Israel’s concerns, American policy inflated the PLO’s importance, and it learned to tolerate and even embrace an organization whose views have always been profoundly anti-Western, not to mention anti-Semitic.

Meanwhile, the Biblical roots of America’s alliance with Israel have been consistently downplayed for fear that mentioning them would upset Arab sensibilities. Even so elementary a move as recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, or cutting funding to chronically anti-Western and anti-Semitic organizations, became unthinkable.

These policies did not bring peace to the Middle East. But they severed the ties between American diplomacy in the region and common sense — to the point that more than a few U.S. officials ended up believing that not only the PLO, but even Iran, whose parliament regularly curses the United States, could be made a peace partner if it were paid handsomely enough. The Trump administration, on the other hand, appears to have good grasp of a principle that is under-rated but nonetheless quite useful in making sound policy: In the relations between nations, it matters who blesses you and who curses you.

READ MORE:
Pakistani Islamism Flourishes in America
Facing the Iranian Challenge in the Middle East
Jerusalem and Middle Eastern Christians

— Yoram Hazony is president of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem. His book The Virtue of Nationalism is available for pre-order online.

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Is climate change man-made

americanthinker.com

Man-Made Climate Change-Settled Science or Dogma?

By Wayne McLaughlin

In 1990, we find the United Nations’ formation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chartered to remedy carbon dioxide induced global warming without ever pausing to examine the plausibility of the theory.

A key feature of this plan is a carbon tax to be levied on developed economies with proceeds going to less developed countries (read members of the UN general assembly). The goal is to provide incentives to restrict fossil fuel development and invest (read sink money) in wind farms and solar panels with much higher costs per energy unit produced.

It also incentivizes participating governments to create grant funds for environmental lobby groups who make political contributions to the politicians responsible for creating those funds.

The ‘Science’

Combustion of fossil fuels, oil, gas and coal contributes to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is defined as ‘greenhouse’ gas meaning that it traps heat in the atmosphere leading to an increase in ambient air temperature.

A temperature increase for the planet will cause melting polar ice caps with flooding of coastal areas, polar bear extinction, increased severe weather and drought.

Solutions include solar panels and wind farms, the so-called renewable energies.

The Real Science

Earth temperatures have been fluctuating, up and down, in response to sun activity forever. Polar ice cap fluctuations have been observed to coincide between Earth, Mars and other planets in our solar system. A striking example of the effect of sun activity is illustrated by the Maunder Minimum, a 200 year pause in sun activity which coincided with the Little Ice Age following the Medieval Warm Period.

In 1990, the IPCC said this is the likely historic temperature history of the planet for the last 1000 years:

A comparison with sunspot activity discloses the real driver behind temperature variations.

The Little Ice Age was deemed to have ended in 1849 and sunspot activity, until recently, has generally risen since then, accounting for gradually rising temperatures.

CO2 Myth

Graphical representation of a 2500 molecule air sample.

A 2500-molecule air sample will contain 1952 molecules of nitrogen, 524 molecules of oxygen, 23 molecules of argon and one molecule of carbon dioxide (in red).

This is the mathematical equivalent of 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide which MMCC advocates say approaches the level of irreversible change, killing polar bears and inundating our coastal areas. Since carbon dioxide has a specific heat only about twice the other air constituents, it is difficult to see how it could impart a measurable temperature increase to the other 2499 air molecules. That would be like powering the lights of a major sports stadium through a single household extension cord.

The pie-shaped red area in the figure above represents the 11 percent portion of the infrared wave length which can react with CO2.

Climate Deception

AGW fanatics have relied on four key deceptions to keep their story alive:

  • Ice core samples reveal higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2 during warm periods in the planet’s history.
  • Hockey Stick Curve
  • Sea Levels Rising
  • It is settled science.

Ice Core Samples

Closer inspection of the ice core samples disclosed that higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2 occurred at the end of the warm cycles. Oceans are a huge sink for carbon dioxide and, like the open root beer loses its fizz when left sitting out at room temperature, they can hold less gas when the climate warms. When solar activity heats up the oceans, CO2 is given up to the atmosphere. It is an effect of global warming, not a cause.

Hockey Stick Curve

When the IPCC’s declaration that the 20th century was the hottest in history didn’t square with the Medieval warm period, it was necessary to make it disappear. Michael Mann, two years removed from his PhD in physics, fabricated a temperature curve that supported their assertions with a relatively flat shape until it made an abrupt upturn at the 20th century, hence the term ‘hockey stick’ was applied to it. It was used to justify the warmists’ theory of everything. Referring to the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (TAR), author Christopher Booker in his book The Real Global Warming Disaster quotes an unnamed observer, “without it, the TAR would have been a very different document, it would not have been able to conclude what it did, nor could the IPCC have convinced world leaders to take the actions they subsequently took.”

“Hockey Stick” Global Temperature Curve

The unusual hockey stick shape intrigued some people who were not associated with climate science, but experts in graphical representations. Stephen McIntyre, a financial consultant and statistical analyst, joined by Guelph University economics professor Ross McKitrick, analyzed the hockey stick. They were familiar with hockey stick algorithms used by people to sell a business prospect. In short, they showed the curve to be without merit based upon dubious assumptions.

Glaciers Melting, Sea Levels Rising

There is a wide disagreement on the question of sea level elevation. Who can forget the scene in Al Gore’s movie, an “Inconvenient Truth” when he rides a man-lift up 17 feet to dramatize the global warming effect on sea levels?

Expertise

Whenever AGW is questioned, the answer is always, “it’s settled science”. They go on to say that 97% or even 99% of scientists agree. They ignore the caliber of those who disagree, who include Freeman Dyson (who supported Obama), Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Dr. Ivar Giaever, and Green guru James Lovelock, who said, ‘I’m not sure the whole thing isn’t crazy.’

Conclusion

According to Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT, “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree and on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.”

Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is settled science, proclaim the predictors of weather doomsday. Settled Science? Science evolves continuously and can never be settled, unless, of course, the ‘settled’ subject is dogma, not science. Is it just a ‘my way or the highway’ attempt by vested interests to close discussion on their terms?

Consider the term “peer reviewed”. Science evolves through the contribution of new ideas which are published so that their peers (other scientists) can review, validate, contribute, or argue with them. If we had accepted Niels Bohr’s version of the atom as settled science, there would have been no subatomic particles discovered and nuclear fission might not have ever been attempted, which would be perfectly okay with the modern day flat-earthers.

In 1990, we find the United Nations’ formation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chartered to remedy carbon dioxide induced global warming without ever pausing to examine the plausibility of the theory.

A key feature of this plan is a carbon tax to be levied on developed economies with proceeds going to less developed countries (read members of the UN general assembly). The goal is to provide incentives to restrict fossil fuel development and invest (read sink money) in wind farms and solar panels with much higher costs per energy unit produced.

It also incentivizes participating governments to create grant funds for environmental lobby groups who make political contributions to the politicians responsible for creating those funds.

The ‘Science’

Combustion of fossil fuels, oil, gas and coal contributes to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is defined as ‘greenhouse’ gas meaning that it traps heat in the atmosphere leading to an increase in ambient air temperature.

A temperature increase for the planet will cause melting polar ice caps with flooding of coastal areas, polar bear extinction, increased severe weather and drought.

Solutions include solar panels and wind farms, the so-called renewable energies.

The Real Science

Earth temperatures have been fluctuating, up and down, in response to sun activity forever. Polar ice cap fluctuations have been observed to coincide between Earth, Mars and other planets in our solar system. A striking example of the effect of sun activity is illustrated by the Maunder Minimum, a 200 year pause in sun activity which coincided with the Little Ice Age following the Medieval Warm Period.

In 1990, the IPCC said this is the likely historic temperature history of the planet for the last 1000 years:

A comparison with sunspot activity discloses the real driver behind temperature variations.

The Little Ice Age was deemed to have ended in 1849 and sunspot activity, until recently, has generally risen since then, accounting for gradually rising temperatures.

CO2 Myth

Graphical representation of a 2500 molecule air sample.

A 2500-molecule air sample will contain 1952 molecules of nitrogen, 524 molecules of oxygen, 23 molecules of argon and one molecule of carbon dioxide (in red).

This is the mathematical equivalent of 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide which MMCC advocates say approaches the level of irreversible change, killing polar bears and inundating our coastal areas. Since carbon dioxide has a specific heat only about twice the other air constituents, it is difficult to see how it could impart a measurable temperature increase to the other 2499 air molecules. That would be like powering the lights of a major sports stadium through a single household extension cord.

The pie-shaped red area in the figure above represents the 11 percent portion of the infrared wave length which can react with CO2.

Climate Deception

AGW fanatics have relied on four key deceptions to keep their story alive:

  • Ice core samples reveal higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2 during warm periods in the planet’s history.
  • Hockey Stick Curve
  • Sea Levels Rising
  • It is settled science.

Ice Core Samples

Closer inspection of the ice core samples disclosed that higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2 occurred at the end of the warm cycles. Oceans are a huge sink for carbon dioxide and, like the open root beer loses its fizz when left sitting out at room temperature, they can hold less gas when the climate warms. When solar activity heats up the oceans, CO2 is given up to the atmosphere. It is an effect of global warming, not a cause.

Hockey Stick Curve

When the IPCC’s declaration that the 20th century was the hottest in history didn’t square with the Medieval warm period, it was necessary to make it disappear. Michael Mann, two years removed from his PhD in physics, fabricated a temperature curve that supported their assertions with a relatively flat shape until it made an abrupt upturn at the 20th century, hence the term ‘hockey stick’ was applied to it. It was used to justify the warmists’ theory of everything. Referring to the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (TAR), author Christopher Booker in his book The Real Global Warming Disaster quotes an unnamed observer, “without it, the TAR would have been a very different document, it would not have been able to conclude what it did, nor could the IPCC have convinced world leaders to take the actions they subsequently took.”

“Hockey Stick” Global Temperature Curve

The unusual hockey stick shape intrigued some people who were not associated with climate science, but experts in graphical representations. Stephen McIntyre, a financial consultant and statistical analyst, joined by Guelph University economics professor Ross McKitrick, analyzed the hockey stick. They were familiar with hockey stick algorithms used by people to sell a business prospect. In short, they showed the curve to be without merit based upon dubious assumptions.

Glaciers Melting, Sea Levels Rising

There is a wide disagreement on the question of sea level elevation. Who can forget the scene in Al Gore’s movie, an “Inconvenient Truth” when he rides a man-lift up 17 feet to dramatize the global warming effect on sea levels?

Expertise

Whenever AGW is questioned, the answer is always, “it’s settled science”. They go on to say that 97% or even 99% of scientists agree. They ignore the caliber of those who disagree, who include Freeman Dyson (who supported Obama), Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Dr. Ivar Giaever, and Green guru James Lovelock, who said, ‘I’m not sure the whole thing isn’t crazy.’

Conclusion

According to Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT, “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree and on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.”

Posted in Alternative Energy, Climate Change, Education, Science | Comments Off on Is climate change man-made

Israel and Saudi Arabia cooperate

theatlantic.com

How a Saudi-Israeli Alliance Could Benefit the Palestinians

Hussein Ibish

The flirtation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which has been gaining momentum both publicly and privately in recent years, seems to be picking up even more steam now, especially on the Israeli side. Israel’s Military Chief of Staff General Gadi Eizenkot gave a wide-ranging interview to a major Saudi website offering greater intelligence cooperation, among other overtures. Israel is co-sponsoring a draft Saudi UN resolution on Syria. And Israel’s communications minister praised comments by the Saudi Grand Mufti that were highly critical of Hamas, and invited him to visit Israel. Reciprocal Saudi moves have been more subtle and often unofficial, yet signs of an increasing recognition of the potential value of working more closely with Israel to counter Iran are readily discernible in Gulf Arab discourse.

Most attention on this issue has focused on Iran, because countering Tehran’s growing regional power—particularly as the war in Syria winds down, and with Iran and its allies gaining control of key strategic areas along the Syrian-Iraqi border—is uppermost in the minds of Saudis and Israelis alike. Both also feel keenly menaced by Iran’s most effective Arab proxy, Hezbollah, which has emerged from the Syrian war much more powerful than before, and has engaged in conflicts around the region. But, especially if something more significant develops from these overtures, what might all this mean for the Palestinians?

The instinctive Palestinian, and arguably more broadly Arab, reaction would be negative. The traditional assumption has been that the Palestinian cause benefits from a zero-sum attitude toward Israel by the Arab states that, at a minimum, demands a complete end to the occupation that began in 1967, before significant diplomatic progress with Arab states can be purposefully initiated. There’s still a strong sense of betrayal about Egypt’s separate peace with Israel in 1979; there’s somewhat more understanding about why Jordan undertook a similar treaty with Israel following the Israeli-Palestinian Oslo Accords.Many Palestinians and their supporters are likely to instantly conclude that any meaningful efforts at building a new strategic relationship between Israel and Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia will be at their expense. This is certainly understandable, but it’s by no means necessarily correct. In fact, there is every reason for Palestinians to see far more opportunity than danger in these potential developments.

A new opening between Saudi Arabia and Israel wouldn’t deprive Palestinians of anything they currently possess that has either real or potential value. It certainly wouldn’t make the occupation worse or do anything that’s likely to prolong it. To the contrary, given the political constraints the Gulf Arab countries face domestically and regionally—as well as their genuinely held (if sometimes, though unfairly, doubted by both Palestinians and Westerners) sympathy with the Palestinian cause—there are major limitations to how far Saudi Arabia and others could or would publicly go in developing closer ties to Israel.

The Arab Peace Initiative, launched by Riyadh in 2002 and subsequently endorsed by both the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, initially held out full diplomatic and trade normalization for Israel with virtually the entire Arab and Muslim worlds as a major additional benefit to be acquired upon the conclusion of a peace agreement with the Palestinians. The Arab, and especially Saudi, position appears to have evolved lately to accept the virtue of “concurrence,” whereby limited Israeli peace moves and concessions toward the Palestinians, such as restricting settlements in the occupied territories, would be matched by concomitant limited Gulf Arab gestures toward Israel, such as civil aviation cooperation or even some limited official meetings. The idea is that a virtuous circle could be created in which new paths to an eventual peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and then the full normalization with the Arab and Muslim worlds for Israel, can be accomplished.Naturally this isn’t what Palestinians would ideally want, either as a process or, possibly, as an outcome. However, it may be the best they can hope for under the circumstances, and certainly seems to be the only game in town. Palestinians would be wise to remember how isolated and forlorn they were during most of the second Obama administration, with their issue essentially consigned to John Kerry’s wish list and nothing more. They virtually disappeared from the international, and even the Arab, stage, and became an afterthought even though their cause continued to be exploited by a wide range of terrorist groups. But the potential for a new strategic relationship between Israel and Gulf Arab countries was one of the main reasons why the incoming Trump administration, to the astonishment of many, resurrected the Israeli-Palestinian issue and made it a central feature of the White House’s agenda. Palestinians, particularly those associated with the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization, were utterly delighted to have been resurrected politically and diplomatically by this unexpected development.

Now the Trump team says that, after studying the issue for 10 months, it is on the brink of coming up with its new plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, which seems to be some version of the traditional two-state solution but almost certainly involves the “outside-in” approach of seeking momentum between the two parties by introducing a new Saudi and Gulf Arab role in outreach to Israel. Almost lost in the swirl of drama surrounding the mass arrest of prominent citizens in Saudi Arabia, the Houthi missile fired at Riyadh International Airport from Yemen, and the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, was the telling fact that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was summoned to Riyadh for a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the midst of all that chaos. The meeting may have focused on the next steps in squeezing Hamas to give up more of its control over Gaza. But there was also speculation, particularly in the Israeli media, that the Palestinian leader was being told to prepare to cooperate with a forthcoming American peace effort if he values Saudi friendship.

No doubt this all feels somewhat coercive to Palestinians, who, like the Lebanese, are often at the mercy of more powerful players. However, there isn’t any other obvious path forward for Palestinians. Though they may have to adjust their expectations, they definitely stand to be net beneficiaries of a greater openness between Israel and Arab countries that, politically, would have to insist on movement on Palestinian issues in order to develop a new strategic relationship with the Jewish state. At least to some extent and at times, others might be negotiating on Palestinians’ behalf, which is plainly sub-optimal. But there doesn’t seem to be any other way of generating momentum on Palestinian concerns, and without this component, it’s likely that the Trump administration will, like its immediate predecessor, quickly become fed up and walk away, leaving Israel relatively secure and prosperous and the Palestinians in a profoundly unenviable position.

It’s unlikely that many Palestinians share the degree of alarm that Israelis and Saudis feel about the growth of Iranian power in the Middle East, and particularly the emergence of an Iranian-controlled “land bridge” between Tehran and Lebanon and its Mediterranean coast. Yet this is a strategic game changer that, if consolidated, would greatly strengthen the regional clout of the most cynical exploiter of their issue in recent decades: Iran. Palestinians would be well advised to view the potential dialogue between Israel and Arab countries like Saudi Arabia as an opportunity to prevent their issues from being once again egregiously exploited or discarded.In the longer term, a wider opening between Israel and the Gulf Ar

ab countries that are now largely driving the broader Arab agenda, especially when they collaborate with Egypt and Jordan, is currently the only viable path toward the resurrection of a process that can bring about, eventually, an end to the occupation and the realization of Palestinian independence. In the meanwhile, if it flourishes, such a new regional reality is bound to involve some benefits to Palestinians, and to keep their cause central to the strategic thinking of Washington and its key Middle Eastern allies. Therefore, it would be wise for Palestinians to look for ways of maximizing how this dynamic can work for them rather than indulging in knee-jerk denunciations and recriminations that will gain them nothing.

Posted in Middle East, Monotheistic Religions, Recent Posts | Comments Off on Israel and Saudi Arabia cooperate

Jews and Arabs work together

Study shows Jews, Arabs work together in Jerusalem despite tensions

Posted in Middle East, News Articles, Recent Posts | Comments Off on Jews and Arabs work together

Textbooks are wrong on evolution

But Why Do Biology Textbooks Retain Discredited Evolutionary Icons?

Discovery Institute

textbooks

That’s a question naturally prompted in reading two books by biologist Jonathan Wells. Reviewing Dr. Wells’s Zombie Science: More Icons of Evolution for Salvo Magazine, Denyse O’Leary puts her finger on the mot juste, or one of them, to describe the way textbooks leave in discredited evolutionary icons, in defiance of accurate science:

About fifteen years ago, I read Jonathan Wells’s Icons of Evolution (2000). The sheer brazenness of the outdated information that continued to be paraded in decades of textbooks dealing with evolution was striking — even to a longtime textbook editor (now retired) like me.

Little has changed since then. And Denyse is right, it’s the “brazenness” of it that astonishes. They must know they’re feeding students fake science — don’t they? — yet they go merrily on their way. She explains on the basis of past professional experience:

The textbook publishing industry depends on a simple set of facts:

  • Parents are required by law to present their children to the local public school system unless they can afford other legally acceptable arrangements.
  • Homeowners and businesses are required to fund the public system.
  • The system needs textbooks.
  • Textbook authors, usually successful teachers, are well rewarded.

Thus, the opportunities for soft corruption (stale, dated content that lingers year after year) are vast and inevitable. Some such stuff is doubtless defended by pressure groups, anxious to retain a discredited icon that supports their cause.

Jonathan Wells is willing to go farther than calling it “soft corruption.” O’Leary asked him:

Why is it so easy for Darwinians to get away with disquieting misrepresentations in textbooks — for example, the idea that traditional Darwinism is a “done deal,” when the lively Royal Society (founded in 1660), meeting last November, showed that the whole field is in ferment (much as many have tried to pretend otherwise)?5

Wells replies:

“Disquieting” is too mild. I would say “disgraceful,” “appalling,” even “evil.” Every time we have tried to correct textbook misrepresentations, school boards or textbook adoption committees are bombarded by experts from the scientific establishment who assure them the textbooks are fine. Why does the scientific establishment go along with this? Most scientists ignore the issue and just want to be left alone to do their research.

“Evil”…Well, that is pretty frank to call it that.

The “experts” who swoop in to assure schools that the textbooks are in no need of fixing present a psychological puzzle. But an insistence on conveying untruths that touch on ultimate questions, year after year, to students compelled under law to read these textbooks — whether evil or merely corrupt, that’s certainly not a very pretty thing.

Maybe it depends on your understanding of what makes people tick. I don’t disbelieve in evil, of course. Far from it. But I’m also constantly impressed by the way ideas are tied to self-esteem, self-image, and group belonging, so that even highly decent people will defend preferred, false concepts at all costs because those ideas are vital to how they see themselves.

Photo credit: Free-Photos, via Pixabay.

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Palestinians must educate for peace

eureporter.co

Education to peace is crucial in the #Israeli-Palestinian conflict : EU Reporter

EU Reporter Correspondent |


Long-term education to peace is a crucial issue when it comes to reaching an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, Palestinian and Israeli experts told an international seminar with the participation of some 40 journalists organized  by the Europe Israel Press Association (EIPA) in Brussels.

“This dimension was always neglected by both sides and the moderator,’’ said Michael Herzog who has took part in each and every round of peace negotiations since the nineties and the Oslo agreements. ”We had then an agreement called “people to people’’ which never materialized because the Palestinians didn’t want to normalize relations with Israel before any solution,” he added.

“This culture of peace is the critical issue. It is not only about signing an agreement between two governments. You need to educate the people,’’ Herzog, an associate researcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, stressed.

Bassem Eid, an outspoken Palestinian analyst and commentator, who is founder and director of the Palestinian NGO Human Rights Monitoring Group in East Jerusalem, agreed with this.  “Yes absolutely, this is one of the major problems,’’ he said in an interview with European Jewish Press.

“If the European Union who is funding the education system and the schools under  the Palestinian Authority, is not going to evaluate their  curriculum, which is not educating to peace, it means that Europe becomes part of the conflict rather than part of the solution,’’ Eid added as he criticized the EU’s role of providing a “blind support’’ to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

“In my opinion the EU is playing a bad role. It so strongly supports Abbas – and not the Palestinians – in a way that is not contributing to the peace process,’’ Eid said.

“The EU is even not interested in seeing new Palestinin elections and don’t push for it because Abbas told them that he would loose them to Hamas.’’

He continued: “The Palestinian leadership is holding its own people as hostages for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As long as Fatah and Hamas are divided from each other, forget any kind of opportunity for resuming peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. That because of the Palestinians  not the Israelis. It looks like the Palestinian leadership today is even not interested in a two-state solution. They are much more interested in a three-state solution : one Islamic emirate in the Gaza Strip, the empire of the West Bank under Abbas and the State of Israel. This is how unfortunately we are living in the past ten years and that is  showing a lack of goodwill of the Palestinian leadership to resume any kind of negotiation with Israel.’’

Six months after the Trump administration decided to make a deal between Israel and the Palestinians a “priority”, the parties do not know what they really want, Michael Herzog noted.

Since the last round of negotiations failed in 2014, things have changed. ”Israel’s Prime Minister has today less maneuvering room than several years ago because of the nature of his coalition, the Palestinian side is totally divided between the West Bank and Gaza, Mahmoud Abbas lost legitimacy in the eyes of his people and we have seen a rapparocheement of Israel and regional powers such as Egypt, Jordan, some Gulf States based on a common fear for instability,” the veteran peace negotiator said.

He acknowledged that there are real gaps between the two parties regarding the core issues. ”Those who say that the gaps are minor are not serious.”

The Europe Israel Press Associaiton helps media and opinion makers in their daily work to better understand the complexities of Israel and the Middle East. It organizes press trips in Israel on various thematics as well as briefings with top experts in European capitals.

Posted in Education, Middle East, Opinion, Recent Posts | Comments Off on Palestinians must educate for peace

Jerusalem belongs to Israel

jpost.com

Israel’s right to Jerusalem established firmly in int’l law, expert says – Christian News

Benjamin Glatt

Israel national flag is projected on the wall near David Tower at the Old City of Jerusalem.

Israel national flag is projected on the wall near David Tower at the Old City of Jerusalem May 20, 2017.. (photo credit:RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)

The Jewish people’s right to Jerusalem was granted under international law at the end of the First World War, a leading international legal scholar said at the UN Monday.

“[The] title over Jerusalem and its Old City was granted to the Jewish people during the San Remo conference of the Principal Allied Powers in April 1920,” Dr Jacques Gauthier said at an event by the Christian group European Coalition for Israel (ECI) and the Forum for Cultural Diplomacy, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem with a High Level UN breakfast briefing in New York with the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, as a guest of honor.

In the Gregorian calendar, June 7 marks the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.

Gauthier said it was in San Remo that the claims presented on the behalf of the Jewish people on February 27, 1919, during the Paris peace conference – the rights of the Jewish people to reconstitute a Jewish national home in what was then called Palestine – were approved.

“The rights granted in San Remo were incorporated in the treaty of Sevre in 1920 and the Mandate for Palestine approved by the League of Nations in 1922,” he said. “These rights included the recognition of the historical connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem and the right to reconstitute in that City their ancient capital.”

He warned the UN ambassadors who attended the breakfast briefing not to dismiss the undeniable facts that had been presented to them in his presentation but to take them in to serious consideration whenever new resolutions on the issue of Jerusalem are discussed in the future.

He also commented on the popular notion that Israel could not have the title over east Jerusalem through military conquest by noting that this principle of international law does not apply in a situation where the title has already been granted to the territory in question.

Although Jordan illegally occupied east Jerusalem and the Old City in 1948, Israel could not be expected to lose their rights when they reconquered it in 1967, since it was already theirs under international law, he said.

Following the presentation, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell handed over an open letter for a united Jerusalem to Mayor Barkat.

More than 50 senior political leaders from around the world, among them presidents and vice-presidents, support Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem as the best guarantee for a united and open Jerusalem where people of all faiths and none can co-exist in respect for each other. The letter has also received support from deputies from all five major political groups in the European Parliament.

Barkat responded by speaking about Jerusalem as an open, inclusive and united city which is important for billions of people around the world.

“In one square kilometer there are more synagogues, mosques and churches than anywhere else in the world,” he said. “When Jerusalem was reunited in 1967, no mosques were destroyed and no churches were taken down. We maintain openness and respect for all religions,” he said, reminding the audience that this does not exist anywhere else in the Middle East.

The mayor concluded his speech by saying that Jerusalem should not only be for the Jews but for the benefit of the whole world.

The high-level UN breakfast meeting concluded an international campaign by ECI for a united Jerusalem, which was launched at the Annual Policy Conference in the European Parliament in Brussels on March 30 and has gained international support ever since.

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Posted in Judaism, Middle East Report, News Articles, Opinion, Recent Posts | Comments Off on Jerusalem belongs to Israel