4th Body pulled from collapsed garage as rescuers dig for remaining workers
More than 24 hours after building’s 4 stories gave way, 3 people still missing in the destroyed structure
Search and rescue workers pulled the body of a victim from the rubble of a parking garage in Tel Aviv on Tuesday afternoon, over 24 hours after the structure collapsed, killing at least four people.
As of Tuesday afternoon, another three people were still missing, and soldiers from the IDF Home Front Command’s search and rescue units were working around the clock to locate and free the trapped construction workers from the wreckage of the four-story structure.
The man was pronounced dead by medical personnel at the scene, the army said.
At least 20 people were injured when the structure collapsed Monday morning.
One fatality was identified as a 28-year-old Ukrainian national, another was a 34-year-old Palestinian from Bayt Rima in the northern West Bank. The identity of the other deceased victim has not been officially released.
Hundreds of reserve and conscripted soldiers from the IDF Home Front Command’s search and rescue units, along with members of the Israel Police, Fire Service and Magen David Adom ambulance service, have been operating on the scene since the four-story underground garage collapsed suddenly late Monday morning.
As the body was pulled out, wrapped in a white bag and carried on a stretcher across the site, many of the hundreds of IDF soldiers and rescue workers at the site paused, while others continued working, filling large cloth bags with sand and rubble.
The body was laid at the bottom of the staircase leading out of the garage, where rescuers started the process of identifying the deceased construction worker.
Members of the press pushed to try and film the process. “Let us give this guy a final honor. It’s a human story,” one cameraman said.
But handlers from the Home Front Command insisted that the journalists leave. There was more work to be done, they said.
The fates of the other three missing men were not known, but rescue workers held out hope, noting that people can and have been found alive 24 hours after building collapses, Maj. Dan Diamant of the Home Front Command said at the scene of the disaster site.
The sister of Roslan Iskov, one of the missing construction workers from Acre, said she was still hopeful that her brother would be found alive. “We are still praying for him,” she told Channel 2 news.
Investigators have placed a gag order on details of a probe into what caused the collapse, but workers described feeling a shaking in the structure in the hours before it happened.
The victims were taken to several nearby hospitals, including Ichilov, Beilinson, Tel Hashomer and Asuta, the latter of which is located right next to the scene. (the Times of Israel )
Scene of building collapse in Tel Aviv’s Ramat Hachayal neigbourhood..
IDF under fire from Gaza overnight
The IDF reported on Monday night that forces patrolling near the border fence between Israel and the northern region of the Gaza Strip came under fire from over the border, reporting no injuries were sustained in the incident.
The statement said that the IDF returned fire towards two positions known to be operated by the terror organization Hamas, which controls the territory.
This is the second such incident in recent days. On Saturday night, Palestinians opened fire at an IDF force also on a routine patrol near the security fence between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip.
There were no casualties from the attack, and the soldiers likewise returned fire on a known Hamas position.
Furthermore, on Sunday, the IDF targeted artillery launchers in Syria in response to earlier Syrian mortar fire.
The Syrian mortar shell had exploded a few hours earlier near al-Foran in the central Golan Heights. No injuries or damage was reported in the incident. (Jerusalem Post)
Palestinian PM to Australian FM : Settlement activity threatening two-state solution
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah told Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Monday that settlement activity is threatening the two-state solution during a meeting in Ramallah.
“Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said that Israel, by continuing its settlement construction and seizing land, is putting an end to the two-state solution and moving toward a one state [reality] based on racist division,” Wafa, the official Palestinian Authority news site reported.
Just yesterday, Bishop called on Israel and the Palestinians to refrain from taking “any unilateral action that is seen as damaging the peace process” including unilateral Palestinian actions to achieve statehood as well as Israeli settlement construction.
Hamdallah also renewed his support for a two-state solution that establishes an independent Palestinian state along 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital, according to the official PA news site.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Hamdallah said that the international community should play a greater role in pressuring Israel.
“The prime minister spoke about the importance of the international community pressuring Israel to end its control of Area C that constitutes 64 percent of the West Bank,” the Wafa report stated.
Jamal Dajani, director of strategic communications and media for Hamdallah, said that the meeting largely focused on settlement building.
Bishop met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Dajani added that the results of Bishop’s meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem were not discussed.
Bishop began a two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories on Sunday, after a 36-hour journey from Canberra. (Jerusalem Post)
Senior PLO Official: Abbas set no preconditions for meeting with Netanyahu
PLO Executive Committee Member Ahmad Majdalani said on Tuesday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had planned to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow without preconditions. “President Abbas did not set any preconditions to meet Netanyahu in Moscow,” Majdalani, who also is a top aide to President Abbas, said.
Up until Tuesday, the Palestinian leaders have insisted that Israel freeze settlements and release prisoners before any meeting between President Abbas and PM Netanyahu.
Majdalani’s statement came hours after Abbas said he had accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to meet this Friday in Moscow during a joint press conference in Warsaw with Polish President Andrzej Duda..
“President Putin proposed that we meet in Moscow on September 9 and I agreed to that,” Abbas said.
However, Abbas said the meeting will not take place because Netanyahu asked to postpone it. “It was assumed that I would go from here to Moscow to meet Netanyahu, but unfortunately Netanyahu suggested postponing the meeting and I do not know until when. “However I am ready to meet tomorrow or any agreed upon date because this dialogue between us and the Israelis is very important to me regardless if it takes place in Moscow or another place,” the PA president added.
Abbas made no mention of the two conditions for talks Palestinian officials have mentioned repeatedly in the past: a settlement freeze and the release of the fourth batch of prisoners that were to have been released in 2014 had the John Kerry-led negotiations ran their full course.
Meanwhile Netanyahu, speaking in The Hague at a press conference alongside Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, had a different take. Asked about Abbas’ claim that he postponed a meeting in Moscow, Netanyahu said he was prepared to meet Abbas at any time for direct talks without preconditions.
“I have said this hundreds of times and I am reiterating it now,” he said. “I do not care about the place be it in Holland, Moscow or anywhere else – this is not a problem, and it certainly could be in Moscow. I have said this to President Putin. I said this to his envoy Bogdanov.”
Netanyahu said the question was whether Abbas is prepared to meet him without preconditions. “We hear contradictory reports about this,” he said. “Just yesterday Palestinian spokespersons made it clear that they are ready to meet but they have conditions – releasing prisoners, they want to know if the talks will have results, etc. If Abu Mazen is ready to meet for direct talks without preconditions, I am ready at any time. I have been calling on him to do this for almost seven years already and if he agrees to do this – there will be a meeting.” The two men last met for seven hours in 2009.
Rutte, in comments he made alongside Netanyahu after the meeting, did not address the issue of a meeting, but did discuss the diplomatic process, saying that the two-state solution needed to be preserved.
“First and foremost,” he said, repeating the standard EU line, “that means that settlement building needs to stop, and so do demolitions and incitement.”
He said that the trust between the two sides is at an “all time low,” and that both sides need to take positive steps “to create a positive climate in which credible negotiations are possible.”
The Dutch premier said that the Netherlands invested in a feasibility study for a gas pipeline project from Israel to Gaza, something Netanyahu welcomed.
Netanyahu, who is accustomed to hearing sharp criticism from European leaders about the settlements, did not respond to Rutte’s remarks, focusing instead in his statement on the role Israel was playing in the war against radical Islamic terrorism that was threatening Europe.
“Radical Islamist terrorist are spreading murder and misery across the Middle East and now deep into Europe as well,” he said. “The epicenter of the slaughter is in Syria and Iraq where some 50 million people have been subjected to unimaginable misery. Half a million have already been butchered, countless others have been made homeless and of these, millions are streaming into Europe. If militant Islam is not stopped at the Middle East, the refugee crisis will only get worse.”
Netanyahu said that if militant Islam is not defeated in the Middle East, millions of more refugees will flee their homes for Europe.
“So defeating militant Islam everywhere in the Middle East is critical for the security of our region, of Europe, of the world,” he said. Acknowledging that the Netherlands is doing its share in this effort, he stressed that Israel – as a powerful force of stability and security in the Middle East – was not only defending Israel, but “also helping to defend Europe.”
In its fight against Islamist terror, he said, “the Netherlands has no greater friend than Israel.” (Jerusalem Post)
Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky to step down when term ends
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky will end his tenure when his current term expires in June 2017, he said on Monday.
Sharansky, 68, has headed the agency since June 2009, serving two terms, and now believes it’s time for some fresh blood.
“I’m not going to serve another term,” he said during a conversation at his Jerusalem office. “I told the prime minister. It’s not healthy for the organization. There must be new people and new ideas.”
Without revealing exactly what he has planned for life after the Jewish Agency, the largest Jewish nonprofit organization in the world, Sharansky says he will continue the work he has been doing for the past 45 years. “All my life I’ve been doing the same job really – connecting between Israel and world Jewry. I’m not going to leave this topic.”
The former Soviet refusenik is famed for his struggle for freedom. Sharansky was held in Soviet prison for nine years during the 1970s and 1980s, convicted of working for American intelligence. Following his release as part of an East-West prisoner exchange, he immediately immigrated to Israel. Sharansky founded and led the Yisrael Ba’aliya party for Russian immigrants from 1996 to 2003, when the party merged with the Likud.
Sharansky served in a variety of ministerial roles both as a Yisrael Ba’aliya MK and later a Likud MK, before trading in the Knesset for the Jewish Agency.
Sharansky is the author of three best-selling books, and is the recipient of both the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
World Likud has nominated Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel as Sharansky’s successor, as reported by the Post last month. Kashriel, 64, has served as mayor of the settlement since 1992. The playing field, however, is still wide open.
The sitting prime minister traditionally recommends a candidate for the coveted position before a complicated election process ensues. At the last stage, the candidate must be approved by a majority vote by the Jewish Agency Board of Governors. Though Netanyahu is also the leader of the Likud, which elected Kashriel, as prime minister he may still recommend someone else. (Jerusalem Post)
‘Hezbollah, Syrian army preparing large operation near Israel border’
Iranian media reports that its proxy Hezbollah has already deployed a large contingency of fighters in the Quneitra area, located between Syria and Israel’s Golan Heights.
Troops loyal to the Syrian regime along with Hezbollah fighters have allegedly been finalizing plans to launch a large-scale operation against Syrian opposition forces near the border with Israel, according to Iranian media.
“The Syrian army and Hezbollah fighters have been working on a joint plan to end militancy in Southern Syria, particularly near the Golan Heights,” Iran’s Fars news agency quoted unnamed military sources as saying Monday.
The sources added that the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah has already deployed a large contingency of fighters near the Quneitra area, located between Syria and the Israeli Golan Heights.
The Fars report did not provide further details on what such a possible attack would involve or when it would take place.
On Monday, the former head of the Israeli domestic security agency said the Syrian conflict is entering a highly unpredictable phase, adding that the Iranian-backed militia Hezbollah posed a growing threat to Israel despite losing many fighters.
As Syria has descended into seemingly intractable fighting over the past five years, Israel has largely stayed on the sidelines, keeping watch over the Golan Heights frontier that divides them and occasionally carrying out airstrikes or returning mortar fire if there is a specific threat.
Israel, with historical enemies on its borders, maintains close intelligence on its neighbors and a special channel of communication with Russia to remain informed on Syria.
Avi Dichter, the former director of the Shin Bet and now chair of parliament’s foreign affairs and defense committee, said Israel, like all Western and Arab intelligence agencies, had failed to predict most of what had unfolded, including thinking Syrian President Bashar Assad would be toppled quickly.
With Russia carrying out airstrikes from Iranian bases, and Turkish forces engaged in a ground assault against Islamic State in the north, Israeli officials see the conflict moving into an even more chaotic, unpredictable phase.
In late July, Syrian rebels and a monitoring group said two explosions that struck a Syrian town near the Golan Heights were caused by an Israeli air strike but Hezbollah blamed rocket fire by al-Qaida-linked militants.
Pro-Syrian government forces, including the army and Hezbollah fighters have strongholds in the Quneitra province. Meanwhile, the Nusra Front, Western-backed rebels, and groups which have pledged allegiance to Islamic State also operate in the region.
Though formally neutral on the civil war, Israel has reportedly targeted Hezbollah officials and arms convoys inside Syria several times during the conflict. (Jerusalem Post)
What Israeli Settlements Don’t Do
by Jonathon Tobin Commentary Magazine
Israeli settlements in the West Bank are back in the news this week. The State Department denounced the Israeli government’s approval for the construction of 486 new housing units in parts of Jerusalem and the territories as something that the U.S. is “deeply concerned” about. A “senior official” claimed the move “undermines the prospects for a two-state solution.” Earlier in the week, Nicolay Mladenov, a Bulgarian diplomat currently serving as the United Nations’ Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Processsounded the same theme when he declared such building to be the prime obstacle to efforts to end the conflict. If that wasn’t enough,the New York Times devoted a portion of its front page today to a feature that purported to claim that Israel was “quietly” working to legalize some other housing projects that were built without proper authorization.
The image of Israel that comes through in all this is that of a country that is actively seeking to prevent peace negotiations and foreclosing any effort at a compromise that could end the conflict. But while Israelis can and do debate the wisdom of their governments’ actions, the one thing we can definitively say about the settlement moves is that they will have zero impact on the prospects of revived negotiations with the Palestinians or on a successful outcome of such talks if they ever resumed.
The main reason why settlements don’t prevent peace is that the Palestinians have already repeatedly turned down offers that would have given them a state and sovereignty over almost all of the West Bank. Settlements existed before those peace offers were made and their continued existence, with or without a few extra units, wouldn’t prevent the Israeli people from accepting a compromise based on a genuine desire to end the conflict for all time if the Palestinians were ever capable of doing so.
Just as, if not more important, is the fact that almost all of these new housing units are in places that even the Obama administration has stated would remain part of Israel in the event of a successful peace negotiation. Israel isn’t giving up Jerusalem neighborhoods like Gilo, where some of the new units are being built. Nor is it giving up the settlement blocs in the immediate Jerusalem suburbs or build along the counter’s eastern border with the West Bank and no one, including the current administration, expects them to do so.
Let’s also understand that the language used to describe these developments is part of the problem. Nobody would call a new apartment building in an existing neighborhood in the United States a new town but that’s essentially what is being done every time the construction of a house anywhere in Jerusalem or the West Bank (provided it is a house that Jews live in) is called a new settlement. Moreover, the “pirate outposts” that the Times speaks of being legalized are almost all extensions of existing settlements. The focus of the article is on a few houses that are separated from an existing settlement by a road. None are, as they are universally described as being, major land grabs.
It’s also vital to understand that the only ones being retroactively granted legal status are the ones built on state land, not private property on which Palestinians purport to have claims. Any housing that is proved to be on land to which Palestinians have clear title are not approved.
Of course, to Israel’s critics and foes, the semantics of settlements and even legal questions about land aren’t significant. They believe the presence of any Jews in any part of the territory that Israel seized from Jordan (which illegally occupied what it dubbed the “West Bank” to differentiate it from its land east of the Jordan River, from 1949 to 1967) is illegal. But that sentiment, shared by the Palestinians, is not based in law. Israel has a strong legal case for its right to the land based on the League of Nations’ Mandate for Palestine that set aside the country as a national home for the Jews. The Palestinians who live there have their own case for wanting it to be part of their putative state. That is a dispute that can be resolved by compromise, something that the Israelis have consistently proven willing to do and which the Palestinians have consistently opposed.
But the bottom line here is that if the Palestinian Authority were ever to summon the will to return to peace talks with Israel and to declare their willingness to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state, no matter where its borders were drawn, it wouldn’t matter how many new houses had been built or how many settlements existed. The overwhelming majority of Israelis have always been willing to accept two states provided they were sure that this meant no more war or terrorism. And that is something a Palestinian people whose national identity is still inextricably linked to the century-old war on Zionism has not yet shown itself capable of doing. So long as they consider Tel Aviv “stolen land” as much as the “pirate outposts,” peace is impossible.
Focusing on the settlements is the tactic the Palestinians have invented since the Oslo Accords to excuse their strategy of avoiding peace. It’s a shame the U.S. government; the UN and liberal publications like the Times echo their talking points. But in doing so they are merely helping the PA avoid talks and making the already dim chances for peace even more unlikely.
The West Must Insist that the Palestinians Change Their Narrative
by Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, Jerusalem Issue Briefs Institute for Contemporary Affairs
The fight against Zionism defines the Palestinians. The Palestinian narrative denies the assumption that there is a Jewish people. If there is no Jewish people, then the Jews do not have the right of self-determination and only the Palestinians have such a right.
Since the Palestinians are taught to believe that the Jews have no history of sovereignty in this land, that is why they fight in UNESCO against the idea of recognizing the Temple Mount, since they say there was no Temple
The Palestinians also say they are fighting for Islam as well. When they fight against the Jews to liberate a piece of land that is Islamic in its nature because it was conquered by the Muslims in the early years of Islam, they are actually performing an Islamic duty. That is why if they die in this war, they are an Islamic martyr.
The West does not interfere with this indoctrination. The West accepts Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, but it doesn’t demand that the Palestinians change their narrative. As long as Western nations keep giving the Palestinians money as if they are not doing anything wrong, then it doesn’t have any impact on the Palestinians.
The U.S. State Department’s 2010 definition of anti-Semitism says very clearly that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism in a new form, and anti-Zionism is exactly what the Palestinians are preaching. Demonization of Israel, double standards toward Israel, and delegitimization of Israel are all forms of anti-Semitism. We would have expected the West to do something about it, but it doesn’t.
In order to start real peace negotiations, the international community has to tell the Palestinians that they are not going to get any more money to support this kind of indoctrination. They have to adopt a different approach that enables real peace with Zionism and the Jewish people, an approach that would eventually lead to mutual recognition where everybody recognizes the other’s identity as the nation-state of their people.
Elements of the Palestinian Narrative
The Palestinian leadership tries to make sure that the Palestinian people stick with the Palestinian narrative and to indoctrinate this narrative into the minds of the Palestinians.
Incitement comes on top of this indoctrination. The leadership tells the Palestinians that now that they have accepted the principles of this narrative, they have to do something about it, and what they have to do is carry out terror attacks. This is the relationship between indoctrination and incitement.
What are the elements of this Palestinian indoctrination? First of all, it is important for them to deny the assumption that there is a Jewish people. Every Palestinian should believe that there is no Jewish people. That is why the purpose of the Palestinians is to oppose Zionism because Zionism is all about the right of the Jewish people to have self-determination. If there is no Jewish people, then the Jews do not have the right of self-determination and the only people who have any such right in the land of Palestine/Israel is the Palestinian people because they are the only people who are actually a people.
On top of that, Palestinians have to believe that the Jews have no history of sovereignty in this land. That is why they fight in UNESCO against the idea of recognizing the Temple Mount since they say there was no Temple. It’s only the site of an Islamic shrine.
The Palestinians also have to believe that the Jews in general, and especially the Zionists, are terrible creatures. They were born like that and there is nothing that can be done about it; this is their nature. And because of that, the Europeans decided to get rid of them and send them over to Palestine. And there is no justification for the Palestinians to suffer from this colonialist move by the Europeans.
If you add all that together, then you come to the conclusion that in the fight against Zionism, which defines the Palestinians, all sorts of means are legitimate including terrorism. There are many ways of fighting against Zionism. You can fight by planting a tree, by writing poems – you can even conduct negotiations with the Jews in order to weaken Zionism. But terrorism is also legitimate. This explains why they pay salaries to terrorists and their families.
The Palestinians speak of the “armed struggle/jihad” or “popular peaceful resistance,” which is stabbing, throwing firebombs, driving over people with your car, and throwing stones. These are all elements of “popular resistance” because they do not involve the use of explosives or firearms.
Other principles that are part of this indoctrination include the idea that the Palestinians are the only victims in this conflict between them and the Jews, and as such they should never be asked to show any responsibility or accountability. That’s why nobody can ask them what they have done with all the money they received from foreign donors.
The Palestinians also say that their fight is not only a national fight, but that they fight for Islam as well. When they fight against the Jews to liberate a piece of land that is Islamic in its nature because it was conquered by the Muslims in the early years of Islam, they are actually performing an Islamic duty. That is why if they die in this war, they are an Islamic martyr, a ”shaheed.” They are guaranteed a place in heaven. It is not only a national act, it is an Islamic act, and as such it is part of the wider conflict between the West and Islam. This is very important in their narrative.
Finally, they have to remember that this fight is for all of Palestine. Even if they are now unable to liberate all of Palestine because the Jews are too strong, at least they have to make sure that they do not accept Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people because there is no Jewish people. And they will remain committed to the ultimate goal of liberating all of Palestine.
These are all ideas that are indoctrinated day in and day out by the Palestinian leadership, by Fatah and the PLO and by Hamas as well. Based on that indoctrination, when the incitement comes and they are told, “now go stab a Jew,” this indoctrination guarantees that there will be enough people who will get up and take a knife and try to stab a Jew.
The Reaction of the West to Palestinian Indoctrination
The West is very much against incitement for terrorism. We saw this in the latest declaration of the Quartet. But they do not interfere with the indoctrination that is the basis for this incitement. The West accepts Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, but it doesn’t demand that the Palestinians change their narrative and accept Israel, with the exception of the United States which does so. But if this message is not accompanied by concrete measures, if Western nations keep giving the Palestinians money as if they are not doing anything wrong, then it doesn’t have any impact on the Palestinians.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas can stand in the European Parliament and say that there are reports that Israel is planning to poison the wells used by the Palestinians, and when he finishes, hundreds of members of the parliament give him a standing ovation. And when, after Israeli pressure, he says there was no information to substantiate this claim, no one says to him, how could you even have believed such a claim? No one criticizes him for that. By closing their eyes, the Europeans and even to some extend the Americans enable this hatred to go on. How will we ever be able to start moving toward peace when this indoctrination of hatred goes on all the time?
A Double Standard
Of course there is a double standard here. Let’s say that Netanyahu was standing before the European Parliament and saying something similar about the Palestinians. This would not go unnoticed without a harsh reaction. But blaming the Jews is all right.
In this respect, this entire indoctrination is to a large extent about anti-Semitic beliefs that are still very much present in the international community that are standing behind this double standard, involving the demonization of Israel and the Jewish people. The anti-Semitism is still there, it has just changed its form.
The U.S. State Department’s 2010 definition of anti-Semitism says very clearly that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism in a new form, and anti-Zionism is exactly what the Palestinians are preaching. This is something that the West should have been standing against because they know better than anybody else (maybe with the exception of the Jewish people) where anti-Semitism may lead. The State Department clarifies exactly how anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. Demonization of Israel, double standards toward Israel, and delegitimization of Israel are all forms of anti-Semitism. That’s why we would have expected the West to do something about it, but it doesn’t.
How to Encourage Real Peace Negotiations
In order to start real peace negotiations, the international community has to tell the Palestinians that they are not going to get any more money to support this kind of indoctrination. If they want the money, they have to adopt a different approach that enables real peace with Zionism and the Jewish people, an approach that would eventually lead to mutual recognition between a Palestinian state and a Jewish state where everybody recognizes the other’s identity as the nation-state of their people. Only if the Palestinians adopt a policy like that will they be worthy of international support. If they do not adopt such a policy, we are not going to get anywhere and the international community is wasting its time and its money.
As long as this indoctrination and incitement continues, you find the West paying the salaries of the terrorists that kill Jews, and not only Jews. The British found that they are actually paying a salary to a person who killed a British woman in Israel several years ago. And the Americans are paying the salaries of Palestinians who killed many Americans. This is a ridiculous situation and something has to be done about it. Only when the Palestinians understand that their game has been exposed, only when they get a clear message from the West that this game is over, then they will have to reconsider their narrative.
Abbas has explained that if he accepts Israel as a Jewish state, he will have to change his entire narrative. He’s right. He has to change his narrative and the West has to tell him to change the narrative.
The Arab World and the Palestinians
There is a belief in the Arab world that they have to pay tribute to the Palestinian issue. But many Arab states understand better today that they don’t want the Palestinian issue to stand between them and their own security. And for their own security, they need Israel. They want to have close security relations with Israel. They also understand the benefits that they can get from Israel in the economic sphere and other areas. They are struggling now to see how it will be possible for them to be seen as if they are really concerned about the Palestinians and committed to the Palestinian cause, while at the same time become closer friends with Israel.
I am quite confident in the Arabs’ ingenuity and ability to come up with ways to overcome this tension. Once they do this, we should be able to move forward. Once this happens, there is also a good chance that this will also pave the way for progress on peace with the Palestinians, because once the Palestinians understand that they are on their own, they will have to reconsider their narrative.
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