Diplomatic negotiations are invariably accompanied by rumors fueled by a combination of inside knowledge, leaks, and vivid imaginings that anticipate their outcome. So it is with current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which seem to limp along in limbo, periodically interrupted by Secretary of State Kerry’s frenetic visits and palpable arm-twisting of Israel. But a report in Arutz-7 (December 23), Israel’s right-wing news service, suggests that behind the public screen of negotiating paralysis Israel is preparing to make sweeping and, to say the least, alarming concessions.

Palestinian sources have apparently disclosed that in stages over the next decade Israel is prepared to withdraw its soldiers and civilians from the strategically crucial Jordan valley, and the biblical homeland of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). In Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, the historic Old City and the Temple Mount, the holiest Jewish site, would form an autonomous region under international supervision.

This “disclosure” may only represent scare tactics designed to stiffen the backs of the Netanyahu government and its negotiators. But it nonetheless raises the perennial question about the legality of Israeli “occupation” of “Palestinian” land since its 1967 victory in the Six-Day War and the subsequent proliferation of Jewish settlements (now numbering more than 120, with 350,000 residents).

Israel’s critics incessantly claim that it is illegally “occupying” Palestinian land, and that Jewish settlements violate Article 49 of the Geneva Convention (1949), which stipulates that an “Occupying Power” may not “deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” But Article 49, as a bevy of international law experts have pointed out, applies to the invasion of sovereign states and is inapplicable to Israel because Jordan never held legal sovereignty over the West Bank. Furthermore, Jewish settlers hardly were deported or transferred, as were the citizens of European countries by Nazi Germany during World War II; they relocated entirely of their own volition.

Do Democrats Really Need to Promote Religious Persecution? By Karin McQuillan Democrat politicians do not want respectful disagreement between Evangelicals and gays.  War between homosexuals and evangelicals is important for them.  The Democratic Party, in order to raise money from gays and lock in millennial votes, is attacking freedom of thought, speech and religion.  This is a basic community organizing tactic: encourage grievance, divide the […]

WHAT TO DO WHEN OBAMACARE UNRAVELS: JOHN H. COCHRANE Health insurance should be individual, portable across jobs, states and providers, and lifelong and renewable. The unraveling of the Affordable Care Act presents a historic opportunity for change. Its proponents call it “settled law,” but as Prohibition taught us, not even a constitutional amendment is settled law—if it is dysfunctional enough, and if Americans […]

A Mental-Health Overhaul A Congressman produces a set of good ideas for a difficult problem. A year has passed since the Newtown massacre, and Americans this month marked the somber moment. The most fitting tribute Congress could pay the 26 victims would be to return in January to take up Pennsylvania Representative Tim Murphy’s thoughtful overhaul of federal mental-health policies. Severe mental illness is the common link among the […]

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES- PREPARE FOR ANOTHER INTIFADA- ALI JARBAWI RAMALLAH, West Bank — These days, life appears to be going along as normal for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Appearances can be deceptive, however. Prior to the 1987 intifada, too, things appeared to be normal — until they exploded, much to everyone’s surprise. But no one should be surprised if a […]



A new level of vileness has been reached in the pages of Haaretz. It has already published work extremely critical of the State of Israel–even running columnists that support boycotting the state. But regardless of one’s opinions on the Palestinian issue, the paper has now shown that it exists in a world entirely divorced from any Jewish consensus, and cannot claim the title of loyal opposition. It has crossed all prior bounds of decency and published acriticism of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, calling it a “myth,” and accusing its heroes of being responsible for the ultimate liquidation of the Ghetto. Despite disagreements on diplomatic, territorial, and religious issues, the memory of the Holocaust–its heroes and victims–had been the great unifying porch in post-War Jewish consciousness. Now the Holocaust is fair game too.

The article’s argument is that maybe if the fighters had not been so uppity, if they had not made a fuss–then the Nazis, who had already murdered 500,000 Jews of Warsaw, might have let the remaining 50,000 live. Maybe! It is not a new argument. Rather, the author amazingly resurrects and endorses the arguments of the Judernat, the Jewish collaboration government of the Ghetto. With every new deportation, they urged restrain with increasing urgency–maybe they will let the rest of us live, and if you fight, all the past deportations would be a sacrifice in vain.

DANIEL GREENFIELD: THE RISE OF THE MEDIACRACY A nation where governments are elected by the people is most vulnerable at the interface between the politicians and the people. The interface is where the people learn what the politicians stand for and where the politicians learn what the people want. The bigger a country gets, the harder it is to pick up […]

MARILYN PENN:SAVING MR. BANKS….DON’T BOTHER The movie that purports to tell the tale of how Mary Poppins’ disagreeable author, P.L. Travers, succumbed to giving Walt Disney the rights to turn her creation into a studio blockbuster is strangely mis-titled.  The story presented involves a sensitive young girl growing up in the Australian boonies with an alcoholic father leading his […]


Since Sunday, over 12 13- to 14-year-old boys from the Tel Aviv area have been arrested for repeatedly gang raping a 12-year-old girl. The case came to light after the rapists circulated a video of one of their “parties” among their classmates, and the footage made its way to the Israel Police’s Youth Crimes Investigations Unit.

It is not surprising that all hell broke loose over this horror, particularly since it took place on school premises, albeit after hours. The National Council for the Child, the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel and the Education Ministry immediately issued statements of condemnation. Parents, teachers, psychologists and sociologists were then hauled into TV and radio studios to analyze the purported statistical increase in sexual violence against children and decrease in the age of its perpetrators.

Though not all the details of the case have been released, police say that the victim was not physically coerced into sexual submission, but what she endured constituted rape. First of all, she fell prey to mass manipulation, threats of exposure and a desire for popularity. Secondly, she is four years below the age of consent in Israel, making any form of acquiescence on her part irrelevant. No one, other than maybe the rapists, disputes this — especially since she was subjected to multiple partners and photographed by them.

The trouble is that the boys who raped her are also minors. This means that they, too, are protected by the law. So the debate on this issue has taken on a different tone from the usual arguments over heinous crimes and appropriate punishments. Instead, it has become labeled as a “societal ill” that has to be addressed and eradicated by — you guessed it — the government.