The Day In Israel: Mon Nov 16th, 2009

Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat yesterday indicated the palestinians would unilaterally declare a palestinian state on the 1967 borders.

And if he is to be believed (which is always in doubt), we can thank the EU foreign policy chief for this.

The Palestinian Authority is mobilizing international support for declaring statehood, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Saturday.

“The idea is clear and understandable,” Erekat told the Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Ayyam. “Now we mobilize.”

Palestinians will bring the issue to a vote before the United Nations Security Council, which would declare a Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 border with Israel, he explained. He called the initiative a response to Israel’s policies, which would send a clear message that “settlements and other unilateral actions are null and void and do not establish rights or territory.”

Erekat said he had discussed the idea more than once with the Americans and Europeans, while President Mahmoud Abbas raised the proposal with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Russian officials, who reacted positively. Abbas will seek support from Latin America by the end of the week, Erekat added, and continue to lobby Europe.

The concept was first proposed by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, he said. “Contacts with the Europeans have been ongoing as well as with Russia and the UN. All Arab countries support the idea and will choose the right time to bring up the issue with the UN Security Council after they consult the other international powers, including Europe and even America.”

In response, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a warning.

“There is no substitute for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and any unilateral path will only unravel the framework of agreements between us and will only bring unilateral steps from Israel’s side,”

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

10:50PM: Rare picture of Arafat’s spawn with her equally attractive mother (hat tip: Jewish Chronicle)

Arafat daughter

10:28PM: To those who want to boycott Israeli and Jewish products:

10:18PM: Interesting CNN story on Arabs fighting for Israel.

5:02PM: Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has confirmed that the PA asked Israel to help crush Hamas, and accused them of playing an “ugly and double game.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday accused the Palestinian Authority of playing an “ugly and double game,” by seeking Israel’s support in crushing Hamas while submitting simultaneous complaints to the international community.

“During Operation Cast Lead, the Palestinian Authority pressured us to crush Hamas,” Lieberman told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. “Then, a month later, they submitted a complaint against us to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.”

Even before the Goldstone Commission published its damning report about Israel’s offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, said Lieberman, “there were a thousand complaints against Israel at the ICC, a large number of them encouraged by the PA.

3:52PM: Former US President Bill Clinton has stormed the Temple Mount, and in response, Arabs have rioted said “Oh.”

Former US President Bill Clinton visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock on Sunday, sources said.

The visit surprised officials, however, as neither media nor the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Endowments were informed in advance.

“It seems it was a special visit,” said Jerusalem endowments director Azzam Al-Khatib.

Israeli forces suddenly imposed a number of strict security measures, and then half an hour later, Clinton entered from the Moroccan Gate, Al-Khatib added.

The US Consulate opted not to inform officials of the visit ahead of time as they usually do, he said.

A spokeswoman for the consulate told Ma’an that Clinton’s visit to Jerusalem was personal and thus not coordinated with the Americans.

Meanwhile, Israeli media reported that Clinton visited the Western Wall, as well. Clinton prayed and placed a note at the Jewish holy site, according to these reports.

Clinton was in the region attending the Saban Forum, a conference on US-Israel relations.

Now compare this response to that of the Arabs when Jewish people go up to visit the Temple Mount, even when the visit is announced up front. The Jewish “extremists” or “settlers” are said to be “desecrating” and “storming” Al Aqsa mosque, and the Arabs have used the visits as a pretext to start violent riots and even the second “intifada.”

3:00PM: Heh (hat tip: Ian).

1:28PM: Ma’an reports on a “surprising” statistic.

An estimated 200 million children aged under five in the developing world suffer from stunted growth due to maternal and childhood undernutrition, according to a new UNICEF report.

“Stunting is associated with developmental problems and is often impossible to correct. A child who is stunted is likely to experience a lifetime of poor health and underachievement,” a UNICEF statement on 11 November said.

In the Middle East, the occupied Palestinian territories have a stunting prevalence of 10 percent, a surprisingly better result than other, far wealthier neighbors, which have the following scores:

Egypt – 29
Iraq – 26
Jordan – 12
Kuwait – 24
Lebanon – 11
Oman – 13
Saudi Arabia – 20
Syria – 28
UAE – 17
Yemen – 58

Well, surprising to those who believe that palestinians are starving to death, as pro-palestinians and the media would have us believe.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media