US support for Palestinian govt. triggers crisis with Israel

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Rami HamdallahWashington’s support for a new Palestinian government backed by Israel’s Islamist foe Hamas, has left the Jewish state feeling betrayed, triggering a new crisis with its closest ally.

Several Israeli ministers expressed public anger on Tuesday after the US State Department said it was willing to work with the new Palestinian unity government put together by the West Bank leadership and Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

Technocratic in nature, the new government was sworn in on Monday in front of president Mahmud Abbas, with Washington offering its backing several hours later.

Israel admitted it was “deeply disappointed.”

“I have to say I do not understand this American announcement,” said Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, accusing Washington of saying one thing behind closed doors and another in public.

“You cannot present it as a Hamas government internally, then present it publically as a government of technocrats,” he told army radio.

“If these (ministers) are people who identify with Hamas, Hamas identifies with them and appointed them, then they are representatives of Hamas. This is a Hamas government, and Hamas is a terror organisation,” he said.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the new cabinet would be judged “by its actions.”

“At this point, it appears that president Abbas has formed an interim technocratic government that does not include ministers affiliated with Hamas,” she said.

“With what we know now, we will work with this government.”

– ‘US capitulation’ –

The US endorsement was viewed as a major blow for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had on Sunday urged the international community not to rush into recognising the new government, which he said would only “strengthen terror.”

“Unfortunately, American naivety has broken all records,” said Communications Minister Gilad Erdan, a cabinet hardliner who is close to Netanyahu.

“Collaborating with Hamas, which is defined as a terror organisation in the United States, is simply unthinkable.

“US capitulation to Palestinian tactics badly damages the chance of ever returning to negotiations and will cause Israel to take unilateral steps to defend its citizens from the government of terror which Abu Mazen (Abbas) has set up.”

Public radio said Netanyahu was feeling “betrayed and deceived,” particularly as he had assured his security cabinet that US Secretary of State John Kerry had promised him Washington would not recognise the new government immediately.

“And it wasn’t immediate — it was five hours later that this recognition took place,” the radio noted ironically.

A senior political official quoted by the Israel Hayom freesheet, widely regarded as Netanyahu’s mouthpiece, said the US move was “like a knife in the back.”

– ‘Answer with annexation’ –

Israeli commentators said the Palestinians had chalked up a “major success” in driving a new wedge between Israel and its US ally.

The relationship was already under scrutiny following the collapse of Kerry’s peace efforts, with Washington pointing to Israel’s “rampant settlement activity” as a key element in the collapse of US-brokered talks with the Palestinians.

With the peace process in tatters, hardliners within Netanyahu’s rightwing coalition have been pushing for Israel to take unilateral steps such as the annexation of the main Jewish settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the far-right Jewish Home party called on Monday for a tough response to the Palestinians formation of a “government of terrorists in suits”.

“The time has come to move from defence to attack, to do what is good for Israel. The sovereignty plan which we have proposed is the only solution today for Palestinian rejectionism of peace,” he said.

The security cabinet agreed on Monday to set up a team to examine the annexation option, but Yediot Aharonot commentator Shimon Shiffer said the move was a sop to Bennett and other hardliners rather than a serious policy change.

So far, Israel has imposed only limited sanctions on the Palestinians in response to the unity government.

It has frozen the transfer of $5.8 million of the $117 million it collects in taxes each month on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, and limited the new ministers’ freedom of movement between Gaza and the West Bank.

And even though it has pledged not to negotiate with the new government, it has not vetoed contact with Palestinian leaders, including Abbas, public radio said.

List of ministers in new government

Muhammad Mustafa – Deputy prime minister for economic affairs

Ziad Abu Amr – Deputy prime minister for political affairs, culture minister

Shukri Bishara – Finance minister

Nayaf Abu Khalaf – Local governance minister

Rula Maaya – Tourism minister

Hifa al-Ara – Work and society minister

Mamoun Abu Shahla – Labor minister

Mufeed Hasayneh – Public works and housing minister

Yusef Idees – Religion and waqfs minister

Riyad al-Maliki – Foreign minister

Salim al-Saqqa – Justice minister

Khawla al-Shakhsheer – Education minister

Allam Moussa – Communications minister

Shawqu al-Aiysa – Agriculture minister

Jawad Awwad – Health minister

Adnan al-Husseini – Jerusalem affairs minister

Wael Dweikat- Transportation minister

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50 responses to “US support for Palestinian govt. triggers crisis with Israel”

  1. arzatna1 Avatar
    arzatna1

    Israel has been furious over Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to form a unity government with the rival Hamas movement after a seven-year rift.

    But Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, suggested last April that Israel is being hypocritical and has been using Palestinian division and unity as excuses not to make peace.

    “Mr. Netanyahu and his government were using Palestinian division as an excuse not to make peace,” he said. “Now they want to use Palestinian reconciliation as an excuse for the same purpose.” Erekat said on April 24

    1. cook2half Avatar
      cook2half

      Erekat is a terrorist

      1. AkhouManUki Avatar
        AkhouManUki

        Just like Netanyahu and Sharon

        1. cook2half Avatar
          cook2half

          I don’t think the term applies to government officials

          1. Murphy's Law Avatar
            Murphy’s Law

            OK War Criminals.

          2. AkhouManUki Avatar
            AkhouManUki

            Thanks Murphy – I’m fine with calling them war criminals, as long as they get the required treatment.

          3. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            zzzzz your muslims are the biggest criminals in history. takes one to know one

          4. AkhouManUki Avatar
            AkhouManUki

            First, what makes you think I am muslim?

            Second, you realize that you would be screaming “anti-semite!!” if I uttered those words about jews?

            Third, you are full of shit – your statement is a lie and demonstrates what a bigoted fool you are

          5. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            “your muslims” as in the muslims you support, not “you muslims”

            I’m not a Jew, say whatever you like lol

          6. AkhouManUki Avatar
            AkhouManUki

            Why look at it through that lens? My point is when you choose to generalize commentary on an entire population, you’ve got issues.

          7. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            you assumed im a jew based on general assumptions

    2. Adam Yonatan Ben Yoel Avatar
      Adam Yonatan Ben Yoel

      They need to take control of Gaza, not make friends with those genocidal terrorists that currently control it.

  2. nagy_michael2 Avatar
    nagy_michael2

    Heaven forbids the Palestinians have a state.. then don’t blame them if they keep fighting Israel for as long as they live..

    1. Adam Yonatan Ben Yoel Avatar
      Adam Yonatan Ben Yoel

      If only they actually wanted a state and that’s what they were fighting over. Oh please let them actually want a state next to Israel.

      1. nagy_michael2 Avatar
        nagy_michael2

        Is that why you pushed to Lebanon and then the PLO turned around and fought Israel in many wars in order to comeback?
        As long as they are in Lebanon in large numbers and as long they don’t have a state and regular homes. You will have wars all your life. is this what you all want?

        1. Adam Yonatan Ben Yoel Avatar
          Adam Yonatan Ben Yoel

          * Please don’t use “you” in that context. I personally didn’t push anyone into Lebanon.

          * Lebanon became the PLO’s main centre after Jordan expelled their leadership and a large number of them.

          * By this point, it isn’t a matter of coming back as we are talking about descendants of refugees, not the just refugees themselves. The number of them at this point makes a return to Israel incompatible with a two state solution. Also, in no other situation are descendants also considered refugees.

          * I don’t want war but if it’s over agreeing to all Palestine Arab refugees moving to Israel proper, then it’s an existential conflict over a demand that cannot be agreed to by Israel.

          * Israel has been trying desperately to come to an agreement over partition for many years now. The creation of a Palestinian Arab state in the West Bank (as well as the Hashimite ruled one in Jordan) is seen as necessary for the sake of democracy and Israelis don’t want a colony for the most part. It is also needed to absorb their refugees,

          1. AkhouManUki Avatar
            AkhouManUki

            “Israel has been trying desperately to come to an agreement over partition for many years now.”

            Sorry, that’s total bullshit. Desperately trying? More like barely trying. Stop treating Israelis like saints.

          2. nagy_michael2 Avatar
            nagy_michael2

            Man I know the IDF dumped palestinians on Lebanese many times. so please do not tell me you didn’t force them out. Second I just read that Israelis are pushing for huge settlements. Is this how you appease the Palestinians and try to make peace with them by overtaken their land.. then you expect them not to overreact. then you call them terrorists. where is the justifications in this?

          3. AkhouManUki Avatar
            AkhouManUki

            And if you question this, they’ll call you an anti-semite. It’s like trying to rationalize logic with a 2 year old.

  3. Sally Fox Avatar
    Sally Fox

    Israel was not owned by Arab countries.
    Much of the land was leased by Palestinians from the Cypriots. If you study the
    history of Israel, you will find that most of the land was not fought over but purchased
    through such organizations as Hadassah of the Jewish Federation. Unlike the Palestinians,
    Israel built infrastructures at a high cost of time, energy, and economic expenditures.
    The Kibbutzim reinforced Israeli’s
    efficacy. Kibbutzim were designed to cultivate oases throughout Israel: what
    was initially primarily desert, paid for
    by Jewish people’s blood, sweat and tears- became a paradise- through replanting
    and reforesting projects-planned and implemented
    by the Jewish people despite continuous destruction by terrorists including hamas.

    1. cook2half Avatar
      cook2half

      The West Bank and east Jerusalem were also dumps until Israel liberated them in 1967. Its only when Jews settle somewhere that suddenly the land is worth fighting over.

      1. IraniAngel Avatar
        IraniAngel

        r u a canadian now?

        1. cook2half Avatar
          cook2half

          I have the citizenship yes

          1. AkhouManUki Avatar
            AkhouManUki

            I didn’t realize racists and bigots were given citizenships in Canada

          2. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            LOLOL

          3. AkhouManUki Avatar
            AkhouManUki

            Does that incredible healthcare you get include coverage for treating racism?

          4. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            Its a very lefty thing to bring out the racist card into everything. muslims are not even a race pfft lol

          5. AkhouManUki Avatar
            AkhouManUki

            It’s very righty of you to dismiss your bigoted behavior and blame me for being too liberal. Religion crosses many races, so your point is pointless. The point you fail to get is where you harbor hate is unacceptable. Perhaps it’s abooot time for a checkup, ehhh?

          6. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            I don’t hate anyone, hating is wrong

          7. AkhouManUki Avatar
            AkhouManUki

            You’re damn right it is wrong.

          8. cook2half Avatar
            cook2half

            :)))))))))))))

    2. arzatna1 Avatar
      arzatna1

      Where did you get your facts from?
      Cyprus never had anything to do with the Palestinian territories.

      1. Adam Yonatan Ben Yoel Avatar
        Adam Yonatan Ben Yoel

        Not with the Palestinian Territories and little to do with the British Mandate of Palestine/Eretz YIsrael (as was printed in all official Mandate documents in Hebrew). Land was mostly bought from wealth Arab landowners, including even the Husseini clan.

        1. AkhouManUki Avatar
          AkhouManUki

          bought? is that what you call stealing?

    3. nagy_michael2 Avatar
      nagy_michael2

      so what was the story about David and Goliath all about? Was that a myth? was David in Israel and Goliath in Cyprus?
      I am not denying that Hamas is no saint for sure.. but Israel is neither. The jews came from Europe and Arab countries when they emigrated to Israel.. what happened to them? how come they had to emigrate instead of being in Israel as you claimed..to state the facts in the early part of 1900 and before they israelis come to Palestine.. there were no fighting between israelis and palestinians.. how come? were there any israelis? if so, how come there were no fighting until israelis moved to so called Israel.. In my opinion they both existed in the same homeland. the problem now to convince who’s who here. But you are entitled to your opinion of course..

      1. Adam Yonatan Ben Yoel Avatar
        Adam Yonatan Ben Yoel

        There were always Jews here, the indigenous people of the land. There were always Jews moving here. Just because Jews in Western and Central Europe spent 200 years trying to assimilate, doesn’t mean that they weren’t still from Judea.

        1. nagy_michael2 Avatar
          nagy_michael2

          and Palestinians also were there whether you want to admit it or not? otherwise what was all these wars after the Jews brought over by Britain and allies to the Holy Land.. were there fighting before they were brought over? Certainly history didn’t write about it.. so that tells you the Palestinians were living in large numbers compare to jews. the bottom line is deal with give them their land back and a state. otherwise you will have wars not only with them. but Iran and Hezbollah and next Syria are knocking on your doors.

      2. Sally Fox Avatar
        Sally Fox

        Yes. Israelis came from all over the
        world. Some Jewish families had already been living in Israel too. But for a moment, try to imagine moving, if
        you will, into a new neighborhood. You have just purchased a new home from its
        owner who lived outside the US. You have been saving all your life for this
        moment-and have given the money to the owner. The owner had been renting out
        his or her home. And for some reason, the people who were renting now refuse to
        leave.

        The renters have families who, like the
        renters, were given adequate notice after buyers purchased the home. The former
        occupants are paid by international groups who sustain them to promote anti-Semitism. The former occupants
        are part of a propaganda machine, campaigning, to “use” Israel as a political
        football, creating hardship for a Jewish infrastructure. The renters realize
        they can now have entrée again into their old abode without paying anyone. The
        deed, by default, will fall into their hands.

        The anti-Jewish propaganda machine is a
        means to unify the constant civil strife and international strife among
        unstable Islamic groups- generating a calling for pan Islamic identification
        and unification.

        1. AkhouManUki Avatar
          AkhouManUki

          You totally lost me Sally Fox. I think you were trying to prove a point, but please stop dancing around the issue and get to the point!

        2. nagy_michael2 Avatar
          nagy_michael2

          Sally it doesn’t matter today I read the israelis are pushing for big settlements and run the palestinians out. there is no justifications for this and as long as you keep doing this. The palestinians frustrations always going to boil over and go around and kill settlers and other jews. to me if someone wants to take my land so i am justified in killing them if they don’t leave me in peace. clear and simple..

          1. AkhouManUki Avatar
            AkhouManUki

            Bravo ya Nagy.M!

  4. sweetvirgo Avatar
    sweetvirgo

    God forbid Palestine has it’s own state. God forbid someone doesn’t agree with Israel.

    1. cook2half Avatar
      cook2half

      It’s more complicated than that. Consider the following:

      * This is not *about* having a state, the idea of establishing a Palestinian State in 67′ lines only came about in 1988. It’s a lot a lot more to do with wanting to flood Israel with 5 million foreign born Arabs who they call “refugees” (a title no other people has btw). If a Palestinian state is established, the palestinians insist it MUST include those 5 million settling not in Palestine, but in Israel.

      * Security: Israel withdrew from Gaza and southern Lebanon only for thousands of rockets to be launched back. Consider what would happen if they withdraw from the West Bank. Gunmen would shoot at cars in highway 6, rockets fired at Ben Gurion airport every day. No international force would protect against this, we already saw how some UNDOF forces left the Golan Heights as soon as fighting in Syria broke out, or how UN forces left the Sinai prior to the 1967 war just because Egypt told them to, or how UNIFIL never disarmed Hezbollah as part of resolution 1701.

      * They don’t recognize Israel as a Jewish State (which it is under the language used in resolution 181), so why should Israel recognize a Palestinian state?

      Historically speaking, Israel has recognized a Palestinian state 6 times – 1937, 1947, 1967, 2000, 2001, 2008. They the Palestinians rejected it every time. In the year 2000 under the Clinton Parameteres Israel recognized a Palestinian State on all the West Bank, with east Jerusalem as its capital. President Clinton was the negotiator and wanted this deal to put an end to the conflict. Arafat refused to put an end to the conflict and started the second intifada. Also in 2008 Olmert made the same extremely generous offer to Abbas, and he turned it down.

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