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This week in Israel: Fatah and Hamas come to an agreement, Palestinian police kill an Israeli worshiper in the West Bank, and the royal wedding raises flags in Modi’in

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The funeral procession for Ben-Yosef Livnat, April 24; Palestinian Fatah delegation chief Azzam al-Ahmed (R) and Hamas deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzuq (L) in Cairo, April 27; Israelis of British origin in Modi’in, April 28. (Left and right: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images; center: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images.)

Fatah and Hamas announced this week they would be creating an interim unity government and holding elections within a year, in what Haaretz called a heskem piyus histori, a “historic reconciliation agreement.” “The Palestinian Authority has to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Indeed, senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar announced that “it will not be possible for the interim national government to participate or bet on or work on the peace process with Israel,” which, wrote one commentator, justifies Netanyahu’s warnings “that any territory vacated by Israel will fall into Hamas hands and become an Iranian terror base.” Others expect that the reconciliation agreement could well appear in Netanyahu’s speech before the U.S. Congress next month as well as become a component of his push against a Palestinian declaration of independence at the United Nations in September, and that he will use the agreement as “proof that [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas doesn’t really want peace.” Depending on whom you ask, the latest development could make war more likely than ever or it could moderate Palestinian extremists and improve the chances for peace. Then again, the reconciliation may turn out to be too short-lived to have any significant effect on the Middle East, a Maariv commentator pointed out.

A 24-year-old Bratslav Hasidic man, the nephew of Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, was shot to death by Palestinian police officers this week during an unauthorized visit to Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus, which Israeli Jews are not allowed to enter without military coordination. “My brother’s son was killed by a terrorist disguised as a Palestinian police officer,” Livnat, of the Likud party, said at the funeral. The irony of being killed while going to pray at a grave was captured by the Yedioth Ahronoth headline “Mavet Baderech Lakever,” or “Death on the Way to the Tomb.” The governor of Nablus said the car in which the man, Ben-Yosef Livnat, was traveling had failed to heed either police calls to stop or warning shots, and an Israeli military official, alluding to the frequency of such Bratslav pilgrimages, told Yedioth the attack “was expected.” For at least one blogger, though, the shooting showed that Jewish access to sacred sites is too restricted: “Jews praying at Jewish holy sites is not a provocation.”

As American Jews celebrated (or endured) their last night of matzoh on Monday, many Israelis were eating their way out of a week of cardboard-textured meals at a Mimouna festival, a chametz-filled Moroccan celebration that marks the end of Passover—which runs only seven days in Israel—and is also a popular night for Israeli politicians to try to make some headway with potential Mizrahi voters. As Maariv put it, it’s a night when politicians count “mandatim,” literally “mandates,” meaning the Knesset seats they hope to rack up in the next election. Isaac Herzog, one of the candidates for leadership of the Labor Party, which will hold its primary in September, attended a Mimouna in Gan Yavneh with Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, considered the party kingmaker. Herzog tried to live down a WikiLeaks cable reporting that he said party rival Amir Peretz was “aggressive and Moroccan,” which some consider a racist remark. Herzog “might look like an English boarding school boy,” one of the celebrants told Maariv. “But he has a good heart, and he doesn’t have a gram of racism in him.”

Israel is gearing up for the next round of holidays: Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day; Yom Hazikaron, Memorial Day; and Yom Ha’atzmaut, Independence Day. Ahead of Yom Hashoah, which takes place Monday, a Maariv article headlined “Hashoah Shelanu, Hashe’ela Shelahem,” “Our Holocaust, Their Question,” reported that for the first time in Israel’s history, students in the country’s Arab school system will now have to answer a mandatory question on the Holocaust for the history matriculation exam, or bagrut. The Education Ministry’s decision came after a 2009 University of Haifa study found that 40.5 percent of Israeli Arabs said the Holocaust never happened, a 12 percentage-point increase from 2006.

And while many Israelis across the country are hoisting Israeli flags ahead of Yom Ha’atzmaut, some British immigrants to Modi’in, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, have also been sporting Union Jacks, in honor of a Friday night “sheva brachot” celebration hours after the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. “We all wish the royal family, and of course the prince and his future bride, a hearty mazel tov,” organizers said.

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Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

When Hamas, as required by the entire international community, meets the three simple demands placed in front of it, I am sure, Israel also will deal with this organization across the negotiating table, but not before.

The UN, US, EU and Russia demanded of Hamas to:

1) Accept Israel right to exist

2) Cease all acts of terror and violence against Israel and its citizens, and all preparations for such acts

3) Adhere to agreements with Israel already singed

And, since the entire international community has rejected of Hamas prior to it adhering to these three simple points, yet the PLO’s PA does not, the move says a lot not only about Hamas, but also about the “moderate” PLO, its Palestinian Authority and the various components of the two, e.g. Fatah…

We, Jews, have taken a note of the people with whom we deal and the ones with which our nation-state, the nation-state of the Jewish people, Israel, has been hoping to achieve an accommodation of peaceful coexistence.

Let us hope the rest of the world is not cynical, and it too will take a note of the way all of us have been fooled!!

P.S. This poster trusts the US and its Canadian, Australian and European allies will be firm in their demand!!

Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

No partner

Abbas’s capitulation to Hamas has dealt a critical blow to any hope of Israeli-Palestinian progress

‘There will be no dialogue with these murderers,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said back in June 2007, referring to Hamas. “There will be no dialogue with the forces of darkness.” Abbas made these remarks shortly after Hamas, in a bloody coup, had seized control of the Gaza Strip. It was also a few months after an assassination attempt against him, which he said was engineered by Hamas. Now the same Hamas members whom he once correctly referred to as “murderous terrorists” are to become Abbas’s colleagues in a “national unity” government.

Abbas purports to expect Israel to cooperate with his volte face by entering into a negotiating partnership with this new government – a Palestinian leadership featuring a terrorist group whose members promulgate the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and vow, as a core of their religious conviction, to eradicate the Jewish state from what they insist is Muslim land.

Full article:

Learn about Israel’s most important STRATEGIC ASSET – Samaria.

Read all about it here:

MethanP says:

To Jehudah; If Hamas agrees to those conditions-
The PA is not “really” any better, just more
patient, more cunning. In Arabic
they want the same thing as Hamas.

Gene says:

As I noted before this is similar to the Nazis joining government in Germany in 1933. We will see how this time the western powers will react (any different from 1933?). The agreement also shows who are Israeli “partners for peace” – “moderate” leaders of Fatah. Maybe Israeli leftists will learn finally something. (dubious hope, however). On another hand this is not the first time Hamas and Fatah had an agreement. They signed one in 2007 and claimed it to be “final”. We will see how it will work.

Matthew says:

I wish people wrote better comments.

Come on guys – don’t get so hysterical as a result of Hamas and Fatah sign an agreement. Ultimately we (meaning us Israelis) need to reach that hystorical compromise that will split this place into two, and so much the better to do so when Gaza and the West Bank are under control by one organisation. Bibi asked Abu Mazen to make a choice between peace and Hamas, but what choice did he make when he had to choose between peace and settlements or between Abu Mazen and Liebermann?

Forest says:

Dov–Do you mean one organization that is dedicated to the destruction of Israel?

Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

“To Jehudah; If Hamas agrees to those conditions- IT”S NOT HAMAS! The PA is not “really” any better, just more patient, more cunning. In Arabic
they want the same thing as Hamas. THE DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL AND A SECOND SHOAH FOR THE REST OF US!!!!!!!!”


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This week in Israel: Fatah and Hamas come to an agreement, Palestinian police kill an Israeli worshiper in the West Bank, and the royal wedding raises flags in Modi’in

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