Fatah, Hamas Agree Not To Toss Each Other Off Of Buildings

News item:

Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas on Wednesday proclaimed a landmark reconciliation pact aimed at ending their bitter four-year rift that has left them with competing governments in the territories envisioned for a future Palestinian state.

Fulano could not find any mention of the two previous reconciliations between Fatah and Hamas. Both of those ended shortly after they were proclaimed. The last time was in 2007, when Hamas gathered up the Fatah people in Gaza and tossed them off the top of buildings.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal

The Vogel Incident

On Friday night, March 11, 2011, five members of an Israeli family were murdered in their homes as they slept. The Vogel family had moved to Itamar, a Jewish community on the West Bank, after they had to leave Gaza when Israel returned Gaza to the Palestinians in 2005.

Palestinian terrorists had broken through the fence guarding the sleeping settlement of Itamar and entered the Vogel home through an open window without raising an alarm.

The five members of the Vogel family murdered that night were identified as Udi Vogel, 38, the father; his wife Ruth Vogel, 35, their sons Yoav, 11 and Elad, 3 and their four-month old daughter Hadas.

Volunteers carry a body from the Vogel home in which five people were murdered.

The next day, March 12, 2011, upon hearing the news of the murders, Palestinians in Gaza celebrated the attack which killed the five Israelis by offering sweets.

A Palestinian man offers sweets to a woman in the southern Gaza Strip
 town of Rafah on March 12, 2011 to celebrate an attack which killed five Israelis

The Palestinian Authority has made a concerted effort to build support in the United Nations for a vote this September in the General Assembly to accept it as a member state. In reality, a UN vote can not create a Palestinian State. That can only occur with an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians as to the borders and of their respective duties and responsibilities. Such a vote also totally disregards the fact that there are two Palestinian groups who barely talk to each other: The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and Hamas in Gaza.


Sderot’s Qassam Museum

There is a museum in Sderot, Israel. It only displays one type of object: the Qassam rockets that Palestinians have fired into Israel. There are thousands of them.

Some of the thousands of Qassam rockets fired into Israel by the Palestinians

The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, was a milestone in the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict, one of the major continuing issues within the wider Arab-Israeli conflict. It was the first direct, face-to-face agreement between the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. It was intended to be the sole framework for future negotiations and relations between the Israeli government and Palestinians, within which all outstanding “final status issues” between the two sides would be addressed and resolved.

Negotiations concerning the Oslo Accords were conducted secretly in Oslo, Norway, and completed on August 20, 1993. The Accords were subsequently officially signed at a public ceremony in Washington, DC on September 13, 1993, in the presence of PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and US President Bill Clinton.

There were two key elements that are fundamental to the Accords and without which there is no basis for any negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Along with the principles, the Israeli’s and the PLO signed Letters of Mutual Recognition – the Israeli government recognized the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, while the PLO recognized the right of the state of Israel to exist and renounced terrorism as well as other violence, and its desire for the destruction of the Israeli state.

On August 23, 2005, four West Bank Israeli settlements were evacuated and left to the Palestinians. On September 12, 2005, Israel entirely withdrew all civilians and military from Gaza. In June 2006 Hamas, won a majority of seats in Palestinian parliamentary elections, defeating its rival Fatah party. Since June, 2007 Hamas has governed Gaza, and is directly responsible for firing all those Qassam rockets into Israel. The Charter of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which was adopted in 1964, specifically states that Israel has no right to exist and calls for armed conflict to remove any trace of Israel. Hamas’s 1988 charter calls for replacing the State of Israel with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. Hamas does not recognize the right of Israel to exist. This is by no means a minority view among Palestinians.

The Palestinians and Israel are starting a new round of peace talks on Wednesday with a White House dinner.  Hamas was not invited. Hamas was not invited because the Oslo Accords say that the PLO is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and inviting Hamas would be a violation of those Accords. This is a point you will never see discussed in the press. The Palestinians could have had peace with Israel any time they wanted to in the past 62-years since the founding of Israel. They could have had the 1967 borders they are now clamoring for at any time between 1948 and 1967.

The Palestinians do not want peace, they want it all.


East Jerusalem Arabs Prefer Israel Over The Palestinian Authority

The following is an article by Rhonda Spivak of her recent visit to Jerusalem.

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Although few would say so publicly, every one of the handful of East Jerusalem Arabs I spoke with in the last two weeks said that he would rather live under Israeli sovereignty than under Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA).

In the Arab market in the Old City of Jerusalem, I met Asem, who sells soccer jerseys and sports wear. In his shop, there is a soccer jersey with the name PALESTINE in big letters on a blue background. Asem tells me there is no national soccer team for PALESTINE, but “but we have the shirt.”

But, although he sells a soccer jersey saying PALESTINE, Asem is in no rush to have East Jerusalem become the capital of a Palestinian state under PA President Abbas. When I ask him if he would prefer to live under Abbas in a state of Palestine, rather than under Israeli sovereignty, he gives me the opposite answer of what I expected.

“No, I would rather live under Israelis than under Abbas. Abbas is a thief like Arafat was. But I would rather have Abbas than King Abdullah [of Jordan].”

When I ask him why he prefers to stay under Israeli rule than PA rule, he answers, “At least here I can say what I want. In Syria, if you say what you want, you can go missing forever. In Jordan too. And under Abbas, too. It is chaos there [under PA rule]. Abbas can stay in Ramallah, and stay out of Jerusalem.”

Asem’s Palestinian friend in the shop nodded in agreement. Asem did say that it’s not that he liked Israel per se, but that if given the choice, he prefers it to being ruled by the PA.

He continued, “There are some nice homes in Ramallah. You know who lives in them? Abbas and his people. Not all of the other Palestinians. They are kept poor.”

Akram, a taxi driver living in Wadi Joz in East Jerusalem echoed Asam’s sentiments in wanting to remain under Israeli instead of Palestinian rule.

“Abbas, he should stay in Ramallah and not come to Jerusalem. We don’t need him here. We are different than Palestinians in Ramallah and elsewhere. They [the PA] are all “mamzerim” [bastards] and corrupt. I want to be Israeli. I have my Israeli identity card and I want to get my Bituach Leumi [national insurance benefit]. Who knows what it would be like to live under PA rule? But I don’t want to try it.”

Wadi Joz is a neighborhood where religious Jews have been trying to buy homes.

“There are Arabs who will sell for a lot of money but they do it quietly so no one will know. They make the deal but they make the possession date a long time away,” says Akram, who is pleased to tell me that his brother is entering the Israeli police force. [Fulano’s note: The Palestinians have a death penalty on any Palestinian who sells land to a Jew.]

Moussa, a taxi driver waiting outside the Western wall tells me his name is “Moshey,” which is the Hebrew name for Moussa. [Fulano’s note: Moses in Arabic is “Moussa”. In Hebrew it is “Moshe.”] Moussa is also definitive that he doesn’t want East Jerusalem to be a capital of a Palestinian state under Mahmoud Abbas. “It’s a balagan there in the West Bank [under Abbas] [Fulano’s note: “balagan” is Hebrew for chaos or a mess]. I would keep my Israeli identity card…Baruch Hashem, I should live under the Israelis. .. It wouldn’t be better under Abbas.”

When Moussa says the words “Baruch Hashem”, I can’t quite believe my ears. Did I hear you correctly saying Baruch Hashem, just like religious Jews do? [Fulano’s note: Baruch Hashem is Hebrew for “Thank God”. Literally it means “blessed is His name.”] Moussa smiles. “Yes, I speak like everyone else around here. I guess I picked up the expression.”

Firas, an Arab, who lives in Jerusalem’s Abu Tor neighborhood also says he isn’t in any rush to be under the PA, and is fine with the fact that there are “both Jews and Arabs who live in Abu Tor.”

“Who knows what kind of State there will be under Abbas. All my life I’ve lived under Israeli rule, so I don’t know anything else. But I don’t think my life would be better under the PA,” he says.