Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Middle East Media Sampler 5/16/1012: J-Street Condemns Abbas?

From DG:
1) J-Street condemns Abbas

The other day the New York Times quoted Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas:
Israel has repeatedly said that it is waiting for a “willing partner” to return to substantive negotiations, and that a crucial step would be for Mr. Abbas to recognize it as a Jewish state. But Mr. Abbas said Saturday that such recognition was not his responsibility, suggesting that Mr. Netanyahu instead “go to the United Nations and change the name.” 
“Why he asks me? Why should I do it?” Mr. Abbas said. “I do not object. I do not reject. I’m telling you to go in the proper way to change your name. I am not the address.”
J-Street quickly issued a statement:

Mahmud Abbas's statement in a New York Times news article Friday dismissing the idea of a Jewish state is nothing short of a call for an end to Israel as the democratic home of the Jewish people. 
While Abbas’s views are extreme, they can no longer be dismissed as marginal and inconsequential as he is the leader of the people Israel is negotiating with for peace. Left unchallenged, his efforts run the risk of eroding the international consensus of what is necessary for the Palestinians to do for Israel for the last sixty four years.
Well, they didn't really. It wasn't Abbas's continued refusal to accept the idea that Israel is a Jewish state that they condemned. They condemned Representative Joe Walsh.
Rep. Joe Walsh’s (R-IL) call in a Washington Times op-ed Friday endorsing a “one-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – a “contiguous Israeli state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea” – is nothing short of a call for an end to Israel as the democratic home of the Jewish people.1 
While Walsh’s views are extreme, they can no longer be dismissed as marginal and inconsequential. Left unchallenged, his efforts run the risk of eroding the bipartisan consensus that has governed this country’s policy on Israel for the last two decades.
Even though Rep. Walsh introduced a bill in the House in support of his view, in terms of the Middle East, how important is he? On the other hand Mahmoud Abbas leads the Palestinians and he is responsible for leading his people to peace. Abbas's continued rejection of accepting Israel as a Jewish state. Regarding Middle East peacemaking Rep. Walsh is marginal; but President Abbas is one of the principals.

Not everything Rep. Walsh wrote here is controversial. In Myth of a Two State solution he wrote:
Ever since the Palestinians and Arab countries refused to accept the Mandate for Palestine in the 1920s, the original two-state solution, the international community has been catering to Palestinian and Arab demands for a divided Israel. The Palestinians and Arabs, however, repeatedly have rejected those proposals, including the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan, which they are using to justify their demands for a divided Israel. Enough is enough. Why is the international community continuing to kowtow to these demands when, for 64 years, the Palestinians and Arabs have worked against peace? Israel is the only country in the region that has shown that it wants and will work toward peace. Since 1947, the Palestinians and Arab countries have fought more than five wars against Israel over territory, and at each opportunity, a victorious Israel has returned land it acquired in exchange for peace. 
The Palestinians have broken their word again and again. They continue to fire rockets directly at innocent Israeli families and children, and they have betrayed the fundamental tenet of the two-state solution they tout by cutting Israel out of negotiations and going directly to the United Nations. Moreover, the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to incite violence against Israelis. 
It pays the salaries of imprisoned terrorists convicted of killing Israelis and glorifies suicide bombers at public events. The PA’s magazine Zayzafuna recently presented Hitler as a role model for Palestinian youth because of all the Jews he killed.
Everything is those two paragraphs appears to be accurate and should be of concern for anyone who claims to be pro-Israel and pro-peace.

2) The Hamas elections

If you've been following the mainstream media you would think that the most important recent stories about the Palestinians and Israel have been the formation of a new governing coalition in Israel and the hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners. But there's another story that you would have missed; unless you read Challah Hu Akbar - the Hamas elections.

At PJMedia, Jonathan Spyer discusses their importance in Hamas Elections Solidify Split from Palestinian Authority:
The nature of the regime created by Hamas in Gaza, and its strength and durability, has received insufficient attention in the West. This may have a political root: Western governments feel the need to keep alive the fiction of the long-dead peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. One of the necessary components of this is pretending that the historic split between nationalists and Islamists among the Palestinians has not really happened, or that it is a temporary glitch that will soon be reconciled. This fiction is necessary for peace process believers, because it enables them to continue to treat the West Bank Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas as the sole representative of the Palestinians. 
But fiction it is. An Islamist one-party quasi-state has been built in Gaza over the last half-decade. The prospects for this enclave and its importance in the period ahead have been immeasurably strengthened by the advances made by Hamas’ fellow Muslim Brotherhood branches in Egypt and elsewhere in the region. 
Hamas has created a unique, Sunni Islamist form of authoritarian government in the Gaza Strip. It has successfully crushed all political opposition. It has created a security system in which a movement militia, the Qassam Brigades, exists alongside supposedly non-political security forces which are themselves answerable to Hamas-controlled ministries. It has imposed the will of the Hamas government on the formerly PA-controlled judiciary, and has simultaneously created a parallel system of Islamic courts.
3) The Valley of fear-mongering

I really wanted to ignore this story. It is that vile. Do not follow the links unless you wish to be offended and disturbed.

Adam Kredo, the other day, wrote about a recent cartoon by Eli Valley at 972.

Daled Amos pointed out that this sort offensive imagery is nothing new for Valley.

Fresno Zionism wonders if Valley's "artistic" adventure will land him in trouble with his employer.

Martin Kramer observes:
I guess there are people who think this is funny, satirical, or thought-provoking. These are people I would avoid. 
(I have avoided calling Valley an "artist." His work is sloppy, ugly, charmless and devoid of any subtlety.)

Valley's outrageousness is his trademark, but this most recent cartoon is beyond the pale. Arguably it's on a par with the infamous "Ariel Sharon eating a baby" cartoon. Arguably its worse than some of the cartoons appearing in the Arab media.

Valley is the cartoonist at The Forward, a Jewish left wing weekly newspaper and website. As of yet the Forward has not issued any statement about Valley's despicable cartoon. The left wing and liberal Jewish organizations who have no trouble finding (or manufacturing) antisemitic and anti-Israel inferences made by Republicans have been silent. Abe Foxman of the ADL to his credit has criticized ValleyThe NIF which provides some funding for 972, has been silent too.

By its silence The Forward underscores how irrelevant it has become. What's more troubling is the silence of mainstream Jewish organizations of the really ugly sentiments expressed by Valley.
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