Friday, December 07, 2007

Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,
Less than a week after the Annapolis conference and even before serious peace talks officially begin on Dec. 12, Michael Shaik, the public advocate for Australians for Palestine, and Antony Loewenstein, co-founder the Independent Australian Jewish Voices, provide a distorted commentary on why the peace process appears doomed to failure.

Writing in the Australian newspaper, The Age, Shaik and Loewenstein ignore the Palestinian Authority’s weakness and inability to implement their agreements, particularly in the area of security, as a factor in the peace talks. In fact, they write, the Palestinians have already demonstrated a commitment to Israel’s security and done everything Israel demands.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, had agreed to all of Israel's preconditions for negotiations by dissolving the Palestinian government of national unity, closing down more than 100 Hamas affiliated charities and sending Palestinian security forces into Nablus to liquidate the resistance cells that have held out against the Israeli army for the last seven years.

Actually, Israel’s only real demands were a crackdown on Palestinian terror groups and recognition that Israel is a Jewish state. Abbas has done neither. Almost immediately after returning from Annapolis, he began repeating his stance that the Palestinians will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The PA has also begun asserting control over some of their cities, but Palestinian security chiefs have made it clear that the real objectives are an end to the anarchy sweeping the Palestinian areas, not Israel’s security. In other words, the security crackdown is meant to prevent Hamas from violently taking control of the West Bank as it did in the Gaza Strip.

Throughout the piece, Shaik and Loewenstein accuse Israel of numerous offenses against the Palestinians, including the problems facing the Gaza Strip.
Factories throughout the Gaza Strip have been forced to close due to Israel's five month blockade, giving rise to an unemployment rate of 50%. According to the Israeli NGO Physicians for Human Rights, hospitals in Gaza are being forced to operate without essential medicines, medical equipment, electricity and even such basics as toilet paper and cleaning materials.
However, they fail to mention that Israel withdrew entirely from the Gaza Strip in 2005, paving the way for the Palestinians to prove they are capable of living side-by-side with Israel in peace. Instead, the Palestinians continue to fire rockets and mortars into Israel from the vacated territory, leading to heightened Israeli security. Shaik and Lowenstein also ignore Israel’s concern for the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, where all the essentials continue to enter the territory despite claims of a "blockade."

By ignoring the Palestinian contribution to the current state of hostility with Israel, Shaik and Loewenstein present a distorted picture. Naturally, their view leaves little hop for success in the peace process. And if it does, indeed, collapse, the finger of blame is already pointing directly at Israel.

Send your comments to The Age - letters@theage.com.au

RETURN OF THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE
Philadelphia Inquirer cartoonist Tony Auth brings back the tired, old "cycle of violence" chestnut for the post-Annapolis era. But there is no cycle of violence in the Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. Every conflict has causes, as Charles Krauthammer wrote last year:
What is so remarkable about the current wave of violence in Gaza is that the event at the origin of the "cycle" is not at all historical, but very contemporary. The event is not buried in the mists of history. It occurred less than one year ago. Before the eyes of the whole world, Israel left Gaza. Every Jew, every soldier, every military installation, every remnant of Israeli occupation was uprooted and taken away.

How do the Palestinians respond?...On the very day of Israel's final pullout, the Palestinians began firing rockets out of Gaza into Israeli towns on the other side of the border.

3 comments:

Alex said...

And what do you think of Obadiah Shoher's arguments against the peace process ( samsonblinded.org/blog/we-need-a-respite-from-peace.htm )?

First Plumbline Apologetics said...

How can you have peace with a people who`s whole aim is to see the entire destruction of Israel based on their religious beliefs.

First Plumbline Apologetics said...

"Jesus said beware of false prophets, when they cry peace peace then sudden destruction"

I think you need to reread the bible.. the real one.. not the once you choose to take a few books out of beacuse they dident suit your ideas..

"Jesus said beware of false prophets, when they cry peace peace then sudden destruction"

If you know anything about the history muhammad and madina he did this very thing and he used the opotunity so commit genocidle mass murder on the people of madina, you will know that if any peace that is planned by the Nazi Palistian Authority it is purely out of deception, muslim's are allowed to lie in the act of war, in fact their are 3 reasons why a muslim can lie, if you learn anything about histroy is that we should not make the same mistakes these peace talks are clearly doing that.

Do not be deceived by claims that Islam means peace. It means submission. Islam has always been a religion of violence.

* "Fight and slay the pagans [Christians] wherever ye find them and seize them, confine them, and lie in wait for them in every place of ambush" (Surah 9:5)

* "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the last day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and his apostle nor acknowledge the religion of truth of the people of the Book (the Jews and the Christians) until they pay the Jizya [tax on non-Muslims] with willing submission and feel themselves subdued." (Surah 9:29)

* "Those who follow Muhammad are merciless for the unbelievers but kind to each other." (Qur'an 48:29)
* "Enmity and hatred will reign between us until ye believe in Allah alone." (Qur'an 60:4)

* Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily God doth see all that they do. (Qur'an 8:37-39)

* And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression. (Qur'an 2:193)

* "Fight the unbelievers in your surroundings, and let them find harshness in you." (Qur'an 9:123)

* "For he who believes in the Trinity, "the Fire will be his abode … a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemer." Qur'an (5:72-73)

Notice the teaching from the Hadith:

* "You (the Jews) should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle and I wish to expel you from this land (Arabia) (Hadith, 4363)

* "I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims." (Hadith Sahih 4366)

The fact that someone who would like to see the Constitution replaced has led a prayer for those sworn to uphold it is just a symptom a larger, ongoing problem: the government and media are avid to find moderate Muslims -- and as their desperation has increased, their standards have lowered. Unfortunately, it is not so easy to find Muslim leaders who have genuinely renounced violent jihad and any intention, now or in the future, to impose Sharia on non-Muslim countries. The situation is complicated by many factors, including: 1. Taqiyya and kitman. These are Islamic doctrines of religious deception. They originated in Shi'ite Islamic defenses against Sunni Islam, but have their roots in the Qur'an (3:28 and 16:106). Many radical Muslims today work hard to deceive unbelievers, in line with Muhammad's statement, "War is deceit." 2. Since most Muslims today are not Arabs but all Islamic worship must be in Arabic, and because the Qur'an itself is in difficult classical Arabic, a significant number of nominal Muslims in the U.S. and around the world have no clear idea of what the Qur'an actually says, or what the traditions of their religion in fact do teach.

This group, of course, is the radicals' largest recruiting ground: again and again -- notably in the case of the Al-Qaeda cell in Lackawanna, New York -- they have radicalized such "moderates" simply by teaching them what the Qur'an says. The smallest number is a third group: Muslims who know that the Qur'an and other Muslim sources teach violence against unbelievers but are ready to set that aside in all circumstances. "Moderate Islam" as a viable entity is still in an inchoate state theologically; it is largely a cultural habit that is ever vulnerable to being overturned by by-the-book radicals. Of course, another moderate Muslim spokesman, Stephen Schwartz, vehemently denies this. He recently reacted with contemptuous indignation to the claim "that Bosnian moderation has no basis in Islamic tradition, and that the absence of such means the country will always be susceptible to extremist infiltration." But it isn't that it's not traditional; it's that it's not theological: in the same piece he notes that he "was alarmed during my recent trip to see a resurgence of 'street Wahhabism' among young people and others easily swayed by superficial influences." No doubt these "superficial influences" included copious references to the Qur'an and Sunnah. Schwartz ascribes their appeal to, among other things, poverty and hopelessness. But this fails to explain why places that are relatively untouched by poverty and hopelessness -- most notably, Wahhabism's birthplace of Saudi Arabia, but by no means limited to the Kingdom -- have not been able to stop resurgences of "street Wahhabism." The appeal to "pure Islam" has proven strong. Where is moderate Islam? How can moderate Muslims refute the radical exegesis of the Qur'an and Sunnah? If an exposition of moderate Islam does not address or answer radical exegeses, is it really of any value to quash Islamic extremism? If the answer lies in a simple rejection of Qur'anic literalism, how can non-literalists make that rejection stick, and keep their children from being recruited by jihadists by means of literalism? So far, all self-proclaimed moderate Muslims have left such questions unanswered. But until they are answered, it would be wise to be wary of the likes of Siraj Wahaj.