Abu Mazen’s plan: ‘interim government’ headed by… Salam Fayyad… and the American (and European) aid money will continue to flow…
Without #Fayyad there would be no one the dhimmis trust to take the money! #Fatah probably will keep himApril 14, 2013
Secretary of State John Kerry will be joining Obama and Rhodes on the trip, but will play a backseat role. In Rhodes’s words, Kerry will “be accompanying us” on the trip.
Rhodes is drafting the address Obama intends to deliver to the Israeli people, bypassing the Knesset in favor of connecting directly with the population, particularly the youth.
President Obama “has often spoken to young people,” Rhodes told reporters last Thursday while outlining the agenda for the trip. “He spoke to young people, for instance, when he traveled to Cairo. And in this instance, we felt like bringing together an audience of university students from a broad range of partners that our embassy has in Israel would allow him to speak, again, not just to political leadership, who he’ll be meeting with on the trip, but to the Israeli public and Israeli young people.”
Obama will also be visiting with youth in the West Bank after meeting with Palestinian Authority President Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad.
Rhodes said that the speech he is writing for the president to deliver in Israel “will focus on the nature of the ties between the United States and Israel, the broad agenda that we work on together on security, on peace, on economic prosperity. And I think he’ll have a chance to speak to the future of that relationship, so discussing not just the nature of the challenges that we face today, but where the United States and Israel are working to move together as we head into the future of the 21st century.”
As for other public appearances, Obama will view the Dead Sea Scrolls, which demonstrate, in Rhodes’s words, “the ancient Jewish connection to Israel.” He will also visit Yad Vashem and, according to Rhodes, “have a chance to lay a wreath and make remarks there, of course, marking the very somber and powerful history of the Holocaust.”
No doubt, there also will be ceremonial gestures and photos of Obama shaking hands with (if not embracing) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Shimon Peres.
All of this is very nice, but it is all for public consumption – an Obama charm offensive to assure the Israeli people that he is on their side and to make the Democratic Party Jewish constituency back home happy as well. However, since Rhodes presumably will “channel” what Obama really thinks about Israel and what he may try to pressure Netanyahu in private to concede to the Palestinians, it is worth examining the positions that Rhodes has advocated in the region.
Don’t expect such a critical assessment from the mainstream media. The New York Times profile of Rhodes was nothing short of a promotion piece, for example. And aside from its usual pro-Obama bias shared by the other major broadcast networks, CBS News is headed by Benjamin Rhodes’s brother, David Rhodes.
Thus, we will have to fill in some blanks in Benjamin Rhodes’s channeling, starting with President Obama’s June 2009 address to the Muslim world in Cairo that Benjamin Rhodes wrote. The speech was little more than a whitewashing of Islamist ideology and an apology for the historical wrongs inflicted by the West. Here are some of Rhodes’s nuggets, as delivered by Obama:
“And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”
“More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims and a Cold War in which Muslim majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.”
Rhodes also managed to include in Obama’s Cairo speech a recitation of the Palestinian victimhood narrative. “For more than 60 years, they’ve endured the pain of dislocation,” Obama told the Muslim world, without mentioning the Palestinians’ own responsibility for rejecting the opportunity for a separate state of their own more than 60 years ago and several times since. “Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations, large and small, that come with occupation.”
When the so-called Arab Spring spread to Egypt, Rhodes urged Obama, according to the New York Times, “to withdraw three decades of American support for President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.” The result is an autocratic Islamist government run by former Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi, who three short years ago referred to Jews as “bloodsuckers” and “the descendants of apes and pigs,” and added that “We must never forget, brothers, to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews.”
As many as 100,000 Christians have reportedly fled Egypt since the Islamist takeover of the country. A Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice was recently established to protect “Islamic morality.”
According to Moushira Khattab, the former Minister of Family and Population of Egypt as well the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, women are facing more intimidation than before the revolution. “Demonization of women as a sex object has intensified since the revolution,” Ms. Khattab wrote. “Sexual harassment has escalated to terrifying levels. This may be part of an attempt to push women back into their exclusively domestic role.”
Despite Egypt’s slide backwards into an Islamist dictatorship, Rhodes remains convinced that the Obama administration’s abrupt abandonment of America’s long-time ally Mubarak was all worth it.
Channeling President Obama once again, Rhodes told reporters last Thursday that “since the beginning of the Arab Spring, and in his speech in May of 2011, he has made this point that as governments in the region are more responsive to popular opinion and the aspirations of their people, it’s going to change the broader political dynamic in the region. It’s obviously a good thing that the people of the region are seeking to express themselves politically.”
Of course, Israel is the only true democracy in the region. It recently held elections which truly reflected the will of its people, including its Arab citizens who have equal voting rights. Women are able to exercise their right to vote, freedom of speech, and equal access to education and the workplace without the constant fear of harassment that women experience in Egypt and other Muslim countries supposedly liberated by the Arab Spring.
Yet Rhodes said on the eve of President Obama’s trip to Israel that it is the democratic Jewish state which must respond to the popular opinion prevailing in the undemocratic remainder of the region:
Israel, as it makes peace, is going to have to recognize the broader role of public opinion in peacemaking. In the past, the peace processes with a variety of countries and partners in the region were between Israel and individual leaders. And as you move towards more democratic, more representative and responsive governments, Israel needs to take into account the changing dynamic and the need to reach out to public opinion across the region as it seeks to make progress on issues like Israeli-Palestinian peace and broader Arab-Israeli peace.
Exactly what Arab governments does Rhodes have in mind that are purportedly moving towards “more democratic, more representative and responsive governments”? Syria is in shambles. Lebanon is under Hezbollah’s control. Jordan and Saudi Arabia are still monarchies, with the latter regime continuing to deny women the right to vote and other basic rights.
Egypt, as noted above, is not a functioning democracy despite its elections. It does not respect the opinion of all of its citizens, including women and Christians in particular, with respect to how they are to be governed by the Islamist regime, or grant them equal rights. It is led by an Islamist who has called for Egyptian children to be nursed on hatred for Jews.
Not that the Egyptians need any convincing to hate Jews. A Pew poll taken in 2011 found that only 2% of Egyptians had a favorable attitude towards Jews in general. That is even less than the favorable rating for Jews among Palestinians in the Palestinian territories, which was 4%.
According to Stratfor Global Intelligence, the “Camp David accords, which form the foundation of Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, are widely disliked in Egypt, and public opinion toward Israel in general is also hostile.” A 2012 Pew poll indicated that 61% of those polled wanted to annul the treaty.
A solid majority of Palestinians polled in March, 2012 opposed mutual recognition of Israel as the state for the Jewish people and Palestine as the state of the Palestinian people. Hamas, the terrorist organization which controls Gaza and is committed to destroying the Jewish state altogether, is viewed more favorably by many Palestinians than President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority.
In short, it is preposterous to suggest that Israel will get anywhere in achieving a secure peace with the Palestinians, based on a viable two state solution, by following the popular will of Egyptians, Palestinians or other Muslims on the Arab street, whose rage against the Jewish state is manipulated by their leaders in order to hold on to their power.
If President Obama wants to put his vaunted charm offensive to good use, he should turn to his hosts in the West Bank and tell them to stop instilling the culture of hatred and de-legitimization of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state in their youth.
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URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2013/joseph-klein/the-man-shaping-obamas-strategy-on-…
Instead of seeking way to solve the financial crisis, Fayyad chose to call on Palestinians to boycott all Israeli goods. He is hoping that by calling for an economic intifada, he will succeed in diverting the anger and frustration on the Palestinian street outward to Israel. This has always been the Palestinian Authority’s way of avoiding responsibility for anything that goes wrong — by putting all the blame on Israel.
Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, this week called for an economic intifada against Israel.
Fayyad, whose government is facing a severe financial crisis, wants Palestinians to boycott all Israeli goods in response to Israel’s decision to seize tax revenues belonging to the Palestinian Authority.
The revenues were seized and transferred to the Israel Electric Company to cover Palestinians’ debts to the firm.
Fayyad is angry because the Israel Electric Company finally collected its debts from Palestinian consumers. Speaking to Palestinian reporters in Ramallah, he denounced the transfer of the funds to the company as “illegal and immoral.”
Fayyad knows better than anyone else that, for various reasons, many Palestinians have not been paying their electricity bills.
Many Palestinians refuse to pay water, electricity and other bills because they believe the international community, primarily the Americans and Europeans, should be covering all their expenses. Others refuse to pay because they believe the money eventually falls into the hands of corrupt Palestinian Authority officials.
Earlier this year, the Palestinian Authority announced a series of measures to persuade Palestinian consumers to pay their electricity bills, but to no avail. The Palestinian Authority even announced a new law that allows it to imprison any Palestinian who is caught practicing the widespread phenomenon of “electricity theft.”
Because of the financial crisis, Fayyad’s government has also failed to pay full salaries to its employees, sparking a two-day general strike of the public sector in the West Bank.
The transfer of funds to the Israel Electric Company, and the Arab world’s failure to fulfill promises to support the Palestinian Authority financially, have created a severe financial crisis in the Palestinian Authority.
This is not the first time that Arab countries lie to Palestinians. Over the past two decades, Arab nations have promised the Palestinians billions of dollars in aid. But, according to officials in Ramallah, the Palestinians have received less than 10% of what they had been promised.
Instead of seeking ways to solve the crisis, however, Fayyad chose to call on Palestinians to boycott all Israeli goods. How does that help solve the financial crisis? Fayyad did not have an answer. He just wants to punish Israel for collecting on the debt for the electricity bills.
He is hoping that by calling for an economic intifada, he will succeed in diverting growing anger and frustration on the Palestinian street towards the Israelis. This has always been the Palestinian Authority’s way of avoiding responsibility for anything that goes wrong — by putting all the blame on Israel.
Fayyad wants Palestinians to boycott Israel, but at the same time is unable to provide them with better alternatives. Does he really think that Palestinians will stop buying Israeli-manufactured medicine, for example?
As one Palestinian public servant asked, “How can our prime minister ask us to boycott Israeli goods when we can’t even afford to purchase Palestinian goods because he’s not paying us our salaries?”
Added another Palestinian who has been working as a school teacher for 25 years: “If Fayyad wants us to boycott Israel, why doesn’t he himself set an example? Why is he living in Jerusalem, under Israeli rule, and enjoying, together with his family, most privileges offered to Israeli citizens? Today, I’m ready to go and work in an Israeli settlement to feed my children and I don’t care whether Fayyad likes it or not.”
(Israel National News) Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has presented a plan to the PLO leadership to form a more inclusive factional government, officials in Ramallah told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news on Wednesday.Two PLO executive committee members, denying reports that Fayyad had offered his resignation, said he presented a political vision to encourage a more inclusive government.
Ahmad Majdalani told Ma’an that Fayyad suggested forming a government including officials from every faction so as to evenly distribute responsibility before PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas returns to the UN in November to ask the General Assembly for recognition of ‘Palestine’.
Majdalani said the proposal was not met with applause during the most recent meeting.
Wasel Abu Yousef, another member of the executive committee, told Ma’an that Fayyad did not intend to resign, but “during the last meeting a few days ago there was discussion about forming a government of factions,” which would bring in more of the opposition.
Abu Yousef quoted Fayyad as saying that the Palestinian Authority is under pressure from a financial crisis that required a government of all factions.
Raya press reported Wednesday that Fayyad would discuss his resignation with Abbas soon. The president’s office denied that report.
Fayyad, who was replaced as finance minister in a government reshuffle in May, has indicated he would be willing to step down as premier if the electorate insisted.
Protests in September largely blamed Fayyad, a former economist, for a financial crisis resulting in part from the failure of foreign donor countries to meet pledges on time.
The protests in the PA prompted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to order the transfer of a 250 million shekel advance to the PA from tax revenues collected by Israel.
Israel has also taken a series of measures, including approval of construction projects and issuing more permits for PA Arabs to work in Israel, to improve the PA economy.
Abbas “repaid” Israel for its financial aid with a virulently anti-Israel speech in the UN General Assembly, in which he accused Israel of ethnic cleansing in Judea and Samaria and of murdering and abusing Arabs.
Fayyad also recently chose to blame Israel for the Palestinian Authority’s financial troubles.
Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh was nominated as prime minister on 16 February 2006 following the Hamas victory in the elections held on 25 January 2006. He was formally presented to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on 20 February 2006 and was sworn in 29 March 2006.
On 14 June 2007, Abbas dismissed Haniyeh and appointed Fayyad in his place. This followed a bitter internecine struggle between Hamas and Fatah that resulted in Hamas gaining control of Gaza culminating in the ICRC estimating that 118 Gazans had been killed and 550 wounded in just the previous week’s struggle for control of Gaza.
The appointment of Fayyad to replace Haniyeh has been challenged as illegal, because under the Palestinian Basic Law, the President of the Palestinian Authority may dismiss a sitting prime minister, but may not appoint a replacement without the approval of the Palestinian Legislative Council. According to the law, until a new prime minister is thus appointed, the outgoing prime minister heads a caretaker government. Fayyad’s appointment was never placed before, or approved, by the Legislative Council.
For this reason, Haniyeh has continued to operate in Gaza, and been recognised by a large number of Palestinians as the legitimate acting prime minister.
Anis al-Qasem – the Palestinian constitutional lawyer who drafted the Basic Law, is among those who has publicly declared the appointment of Fayyad to be illegal.